Nearly 20 years ago, Santa Fe Christian Schools’ music teacher David Hall, held a band concert honoring veterans. “During an Eagle Band’s performance at La Colonia Park for our local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, God laid it on my heart to do something at our school to honor these men and women,” states David Hall. “What began as a band concert developed into a school-wide event, blessing many veterans and raising awareness among our students of the sacrifices for their freedom and way of life.” Facilities Director and SFC softball coach Darrell Enderlin is a retired Company 1 Sergeant, US Marine Corps and a Desert Storm veteran. He loved the idea of honoring veterans and has supported the idea from the beginning.

The Veteran’s Day ceremony is a large celebration, and it has been since its inception. Each year SFC invites a keynote speaker from a branch of the United States Armed Forces. This year, keynote speaker retired Navy Captain Ron O’Rourke spoke about the importance of patriotism and honored all the veterans personally. He shared stories about his years on a submarine and showed pictures of an onboard radio room, cracking through ice at the North Pole, and sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The ceremony is a physical representation of the sacrifices made. During the celebration, as each armed forces anthem is played, the service men and women from that branch stand to be honored.  “It’s important that our kids never forget our veterans or take freedom for granted. There is a sacrifice that comes with freedom, and this celebration puts a face to the sacrifice. The entire event is pretty emotional for all who attend. Quite a few Vietnam vets never received a thank you. It was such a nasty war, and vets came back to a hostile group,” recalls Darrell. “My brother Gary, a Vietnam Vet, went to SFC’s Veteran’s Day ceremony six years ago and said it was the first time he felt thanked.”

Each year invitations go out to active and retired military via friends and family members of the SFC community, Marines, Naval Hospital, Wounded Warriors and veterans in retirement homes. If you have someone you would like to honor, or would like to be a part of transporting veterans to the celebration next year,  please contact Jan Leroux.