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South San Antonio ISD Memorializes Alumni Veterans at Dedication Ceremony


On Friday, November 10, South San Antonio Independent School District (SSAISD) hosted a Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony to pay tribute to departed veterans. Families, SSAISD staff, and community members gathered at the SSAISD Athletic Center for the unveiling of the memorial site. The presentation acknowledged 18 service members from the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force who once attended SSAISD and have since passed away. 


Preceding this significant event, the memorial building underwent a meticulous decade-long construction and revision process. Julio Zamora, a distinguished alumnus from the Class of 2015 at South San Antonio High School, conceptualized the layout of the memorial site through a district design competition for art and architecture classes. Mr. Zamora’s design was selected to represent SSAISD’s memorial site, and after 10 years of careful deliberation, his artwork came to life and was honored alongside our fallen soldiers. In commemoration of the new memorial site, acrylic models of the design were crafted as tokens of appreciation for the families of our late veterans. Each memento was personalized with the late veteran’s name, ranking, branch, and the war they fought in, providing a significant recognition this Veteran’s Day. 


The Presentation of Flags for the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Flag was eloquently displayed by South San Antonio High School JROTC students, initiating our dedication ceremony. Following this presentation, SSAISD Superintendent of Schools Henry Yzaguirre and School Board President Manuel Lopez expressed gratitude and recognition for the courage, valor, and heroism of our 18 service members. Superintendent Yzaguirre conveyed, “We owe you our gratitude. We owe you our respect. But most importantly, we owe you our freedom. On behalf of our Board of Trustees, the Administration, staff, and community, thank you for your service.” 


Our distinguished guest speaker, Andy Diaz, a Vietnam Veteran with twenty years of service and a former Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, delivered an esteemed speech honoring our late veterans and acknowledging their bravery. Additionally, Mr. Diaz has supported SSAISD by serving on our school board as the secretary position for three years. Diaz’s speech reflected on our departed veterans' fight for our freedom, and his chosen words were exemplary as the ceremonial portion of the dedication was in commencement. 


Alexis LaFosse, SSAISD Director of Communications and Marketing, individually recognized the late veterans and dedicated our token of remembrance to the families representing their departed loved ones. Families in attendance had the opportunity to view the memorial of their loved ones and capture photographs near their plaques. The unveiling of the new memorial site and the acknowledgment of our late veterans were made possible through the unwavering support of the families and the united community of SSAISD.