Veterans Day looked a little different this year, but the communities of Sonoita, Elgin and Patagonia still found creative and meaningful ways to honor our local veterans.

An Honor Guard prepares for the opening of the Veterans Day Celebration at the Sonoita Fairgrounds. Festivities also included a mounted unit from the Nogales BP Station, the Sonoita Labor Day Rodeo Royalty, speeches, prayers, music and poetry, a slide show, lunch in Pioneer Hall and gift bags for veterans. Photo by Marion Vendituoli 
Elgin School students waved flags and cheered as veterans drove through the school parking lot on Nov. 10 as part of the school’s celebration of Veterans Day. The students from all grades lined the driveway at the school holding signs they had made thanking the Veterans for their service.  Photo by Marion Vendituoli
Murphy Musick places a new flag on the grave of Rodolfo Valenzuela, a Korean Vet buried at the Patagonia Cemetery, in preparation for Veterans Day. “I have been honoring Veterans Day for over 30 years now by placing small flags on the graves of those honorable people,” Musick wrote. This year he also replaced the large American Flag that flies at the cemetery. Photo by Robert Gay

Veterans’ Day Poem

By Students in Journee Hayes’ PUHS Poetry Class 

To honor those brave and bold, 

Fighting for life and freedom. 

For those that stepped away from their lives, 

To protect those they didn’t know. 

Our thoughts and prayers were with you everyday, 

As you fought for our freedom so far away. 

Although we’re sad when you leave home, 

We await your arrival, you are never alone. 

Your sacrifice is not unnoticed, 

Your fight for freedom shows devotion. 

To those that have given all to our country, 

Bravery unmatched by any other. 

Fighting for yourself and the world, 

Fighting so that future generations may not have to. 

I will never be able to understand what you have been through, but I can thank you, 

The sacrifice and devotion you have given your country is remarkable. 

You served your service to us in honor, 

And now today we honor you. 

Securing freedoms for those who cannot serve, 

The flag painted with proud, vibrant colors to portray the sacrifice. 

The right to bear arms and fight for freedoms that this country has, 

For the best country in the world. 

From carrying wounded brothers off the battlefield, 

To come home to those who respect and thank you. 

You give your life for the battle and for the fight, 

It is because of you we appreciate our rights. 

Men and women fight for for our freedom, risking their lives, 

Freedom won by those who fought. 

You were of the lucky and skilled who were able to return home, 

And tell amazing stories of the times you served. 

Red, white and blue is where we stand, 

The battles you fought for our freedom, we thank you. 

I thank you for risking your life for ours, 

And it’s great when you guys come back. 

To the lives lost and souls broken, 

For a shot at a future for your family and the generations of nameless faces to come. 

The poetry class at PUHS chose to write this poem and create a video in honor of Veterans Day. Teacher Journee Hayes wrote, “The class consists of 18 seniors who wanted to all write one poem together. This type of poem is called a chain poem, or a tejeda. Since we are currently virtual, I created a Google doc and invited all 18 students on as collaborators. Each student wrote two lines on the document and once everyone was finished we brainstormed and moved lines around to fit into an order we thought sounded the best. Then the students videoed themselves reading those lines. The class came up with their own rules for the videos such as dress nicely, look for a creative backdrop, make sure there isn’t any wind while you’re filming, speak clearly, etc.” PUHS junior Ben (Luke) Anderson edited the film, “which he did wonderfully,” according to Hayes. “The end product was more beautiful than I expected,” she said. “But I should never underestimate these kids. They are truly wonderful and creative and brave and I am so proud of them.”

The video can be viewed at