By Maureen Robertson
Three Ramona High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps students and their chaperones are traveling non-stop since their plane landed in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, reports RHS senior Deanna Lasley.
It was one of Deanna’s “What’s Happening with NJROTC” columns in the Ramona Sentinel last year that attracted the attention of U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs and an invitation to the annual Veterans Day Ceremony in the amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery.
The students—Deanna, Darien Hightower, and Aaron Paris—“have been learning new things on the go while taking in all the celebrations of Veterans Day,” she said in an email on Saturday.
Dressed in full uniforms, they witnessed President Barack Obama at the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery this morning.
“In Arlington for Veterans Day,” Deanna wrote in a text message today. “It is 9 a.m. Ceremony starts at 11 a.m. WE ARE HERE. WOW!”
With chaperones Ramona school board member Kim Lasley and RHS teacher Tim Hall, the students, sat atop the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, reflecting on their past two days of travel and excitement to relax and enjoy the view of the Washington Monument, said Deanna Lasley.
They’ve seen the National Archives, the Iwo Jima memorial, the Air Force memorial, and the Vietnam, Korea, and World War ll memorials, and they’ve been to the Pentagon to see the memorial for those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
The travelers left Ramona Wednesday night for a red-eye flight from San Diego Airport to the nation’s capital and will return late Monday.
Hall, a professional photographer in his third year of teaching at Ramona High School, is the Ramona contingent’s official photographer as well as chaperone.