MVMS: 20 Years of Operation Veterans Remembrance

MVMS: 20 Years of Operation Veterans Remembrance
Posted on 11/11/2021

It is a clear and crisp, yet somber, day at Tahoma National Cemetery as two women step out of their vehicle. They quietly observe Maple View Middle School students placing flags before walking to a specific headstone to place flowers and an American flag. One of the two walks over to the group of students and thanks them for honoring the veterans by placing flags on the gravestones.

MVMS Student Places Veterans Day Flag

8th grader Darlene H places flag at Tahoma National Cemetery during 20th anniversary of Operation Veterans Remembrance.

Marge (daughter) and Tudy (wife) Sapanos, from Enumclaw, come often to visit the gravesite of John Sapanos, who passed away in 2008. John served in the U.S. Army for 27 years during the time of World War II and Korea and was awarded the Bronze Medal. Tudy says, “it makes my heart feel so good that [the students] want to give up their time to do this.”

Marge adds that they heard the students reading the names on the gravestones. “It means a lot to know what the servicemen and servicewomen do for them.  We came out to see my dad who passed in ‘08.  It means a lot to see the kids out here. We want to thank the school for allowing the students to do this.”

The students are working quietly and respectfully as they are placing flags. It is muddy from the previous days’ rain, but they are grateful for the clear skies as they work. Over the course of the day, the students from Maple View come to place flags on the gravestones. Some of the students have relatives buried here.

This is the 20th anniversary of Operation Veterans Remembrance. Tahoma district students go out to honor the veterans by placing flags at their headstones at Tahoma National Cemetery.  

Operations Veterans Remembrance

Brayden F., an eighth grader, says he has “a lot to be thankful for from those who served our country. We wouldn’t be in this world if it weren’t for them.”

Matt Brashears, Instructional Coach at MVMS, has had relatives going back to the Revolutionary War that have served in the military.  For him, “this is a small way that I can show appreciation for their service and sacrifice.” He goes on to say of the students, “The kids' demeanor changes as soon as they come here. You see a seriousness and they understand the importance of what they are doing. It is a side of the students that instructors don’t often get to see.”

Eighth grader Anna J. said, “it is important because not many people do this or have the opportunity to come out to do this. It is important to remember those who gave their lives to save America.”

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