Knox Inspires Veterans’ Ceremony at Commons

Knox Inspires Veterans Ceremony at Commons

Colleen OBrien, Staff Writer

Most high school students don’t stop to give Veteran’s Day a second thought. Senior Tony Knox’s, however, has taken the holiday to heart.

To earn his Eagle title, Knox created a Veteran’s monument in the Moraga Commons, a memorial that has inspired an annual celebration of local veterans.

This year’s service, held at the Commons on 11/11/11 at 11:00am, featured multiple veterans and Moraga’s mayor, Karen Mendonca, as guest speakers, with Campo junior Nate Pergamit opening the ceremony singing the National Anthem.

The speakers addressed the need for today’s society to recognize and honor the sacrifice and commitment of “those who have served and those who have gone before and those who are still in harm’s way,” as ex-Naval Admiral Bert Benson said. He went on to say, “We’ve got to remember our veterans because they set the tone for our country in being brave and serving our country.”

Knox, a boy scout for seven years, took this statement to heart. Over the course of seven months, he cut, engraved, polished, and installed a two-ton boulder in the Moraga Commons. Knox said he was inspired to do the project after his mother read that the Military Officers’ Association of America was seeking a veteran’s memorial in the Lamorinda area. “I chose it because I wanted to make a difference in the community,” Knox said.

John Haffner, one of Knox’s biggest supporters, was pleased with the now-Eagle-Scout’s initiative, since it “demonstrated that youth are very involved.” According to Haffner, “this generation needs to understand what it means to serve…you don’t need to be in the military to serve.”

Knox is not the only Campo student to dedicate himself to service; Mayor Mendonca ushered in a moment of silence for deceased Campo graduate Captain Mark Paine who laid down his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom.