West Utica celebrates one of its own at annual veterans celebration
West Utica celebrates one of its own at annual veterans celebration
Posted on 11/07/2018
Sudents waving American flagsWest Utica Elementary took the time to celebrate one of its own as part of its annual Veterans Day Celebration.

The school community remembered Vietnam Veteran William Dobbie, who helped create the annual celebration at West Utica 30 years ago with retired teacher Mary Kerner and annually spoke to students.
During this year's ceremony, the school held a moment of silence for Mr. Dobbie, who passed away last month.

“Mr. Dobbie in my eyes is a real American hero,” said West Utica principal Brad Suggs. “It was his mission for our students to learn what it is about to sacrifice and be a veteran.”

UCS Board President Gene Klida, who presented a district tribute for Mr. Dobbie’s family, told students the veteran often reflected on how much it meant for students to thank military members for their service at the celebrations. 

“As we honor the legacy and the spirit of Mr. Dobbie, I would ask students here that when they pass by a veteran, they remember Mr. Dobbie, and they put their hand out and just say thank you for being a hero,” she said.

The annual West Utica Veterans Day Celebration is held annually for all of the school's K-6 students to pay tribute to family members who have served in armed service.

Students recognize community veterans of wars ranging from World War II through Afghanistan and Iraq with speeches and songs. This year’s theme was “Today and everyday, we are grateful.”

“West Utica students are grateful that we have brave men and women like you serving our country and making sure we are safe each and every day,” said student council president Ashley Mathews.

The program is held in partnership with area Veteran of Foreign Wars posts.

U.S. Congressman Paul Mitchell, who attended the celebration, called the event “the best Monday I have had in a while.”

He said: “I wish all the members of Congress could see this here today and understand that our future is safe because you will protect our nation.”

Below is a video of the November 5 event.