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City of Carmel Honors our Vets

The City of Carmel honored veterans on Thursday, November 9, at the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at The Tarkington Theater at The Center for The Performing Arts. City Council President Sue Finkam was joined by keynote speaker Sergeant Ronald Eaton, U.S. Army Retired; speaker Sergeant Todd Rush, Carmel Police Department, U.S. Air Force Reserve; the Carmel Middle School Choir; Carmel American Legion Post 155; Carmel VFW Post 10003; and the Actors Theatre of Indiana’s “Andrews Sisters.” The winners of the Veterans Day Poster and Essay Contests were also recognized at the ceremony. Students from local elementary schools took part in the Poster Contest, while Middle School and High School students were asked to participate in the Essay Contest. This year’s theme was “Heroes Among Us.”

Finalists for the poster contest were chosen by grade level from each participating school. Board members of the Carmel Arts Council selected one citywide winner in each grade from among the entries. The winning posters were chosen based on best representation of the theme, focus on veterans and creativity. They were displayed at the City’s Veterans Day Ceremony and each student received a certificate of achievement from Council President Finkam. The finalist posters are up for viewing at the Monon Community Center on the second floor’s main hallway through Sunday, November 12th. A list of Carmel Veterans Day Poster Contest winners as well as images of their posters can be found on the city’s website at

The winners of the “Heroes Among Us” Poster contest are as follows:

Kindergarten: Charlotte Ho, Smoky Row Elementary School

1st Grade: Gabriella Goldberg, Towne Meadow Elementary School

2nd Grade: Blake Brauer, Towne Meadow Elementary School

3rd Grade: Kathryn Roth, Smoky Row Elementary School

4th Grade: Aashrith Goli, Towne Meadow Elementary School

5th Grade: Aleksa Aiello, Carmel Elementary School

The panel of judges from Veterans Organizations chose the winning essays based on best representation of the theme, focus on veterans, strength of message, and proper use of grammar. Students were invited to read their winning essays during the ceremony and each received a certificate of achievement from Council President Sue Finkam. A list of the Carmel Veterans Day Essay Contest winners can be found on the city’s website at

The winners of the “Heroes Among Us” Essay contest are as follows:

6th Grade (Tie): Melaina Munson, Clay Middle School

6th Grade (Tie): Emily Switzer, Creekside Middle School

7th Grade (Tie): Valeria Colmenarez, Clay Middle School

7th Grade (Tie): Jordan Seigel, Clay Middle School

8th Grade (Tie): Brianna Guntz, Clay Middle School

8th Grade (Tie): Maddie Tuttle, Clay Middle School

Poster contest winners in grades K-5 received $50 each and essay contest winners in grade 6-12 received $100 each, courtesy of PNC Bank.

“I am impressed with the students, and their teachers, in our community. By the quality and depth of the posters and essays honoring our veterans, it’s obvious our young people understand what it means to be a veteran and the importance of thanking those who have served our country,” said City Council President Sue Finkam.

Each veteran in attendance received a gift, courtesy of American Structurepoint and Drs. Lauck & McLean Optometry and Eyewear. Vietnam Veterans also received a commemorative pin to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, the City of Carmel is a member of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration program. In 2016, the city began this three-year program and agreed to conduct two programs a year through 2018 to recognize the Vietnam Veterans in our community.

Other sponsors included UN Communications Group, Inc. as well as a pictorial display of World War II and Vietnam Veterans provided by Wyant Photography.

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