Saluting America is #VegasStrong

How do you turn indescribable grief into unimaginable gratitude?

Express your thanks and pay tribute.



Saluting America's mission is to honor all who serve our country and there are many heroes to be recognized in Las Vegas.   This specially designed Tribute Card was created for them.


During the week of December 11 -15, Saluting America and the 20 participating schools in Clark County delivered 15,000 cards to law enforcement, fire fighters, EMTs, hospital personnel, city officials, Clark County coroner's office, and others who serve their city.


We are proud to be a part of this outstanding effort and movement toward healing for all the citizens of Las Vegas.


We thank the Clark County School District and the School-Community Partnership Program for the support and assistance!


Continue to read below to see the highlights of the week!


as told by Executive Director Jan Baker


On Monday, Dec. 11, I arrived in Las Vegas to begin a week that would warm my heart.  From the time I landed until the time I left, everything worked perfectly!  I met so many wonderful people, committed to healing their city in whatever way possible.  I talked to young people who were thankful to First Responders for protecting them every day and police officers, EMTs, firefighters and medical personnel, all who stated over and over again that they are "just doing the job they love".  My wish is that everyone could have shared this experience but I'll do my best to relay my thoughts here!



Here is a list of all the schools who participated in the program:

  • Indian Springs Middle School
  • Clifford O Findlay Middle
  • Thurman White Middle School
  • Jack Lund Schofield Middle School
  • Francis H Cortney Junior High School
  • Theron L Swainston Middle School
  • Robert O Gibson Middle School
  • C W Woodbury Middle School
  • Frank F Garside Junior High School
  • Walter Johnson Junior High School
  • Jerome Mack Middle School
  • Charles Silvestri Junior High School
  • William E Orr Middle School
  • Irwin & Susan Molasky Junior High School
  • Elton M Garrett Junior High School
  • Dell H Robison Middle School
  • Ernest Becker Middle School
  • Del E Webb Middle School
  • Sig Rogich Middle School
  • K O Knudson Junior High School


My first stop was Schofield Middle School, where I picked up over 1,200 completed cards from Principal Terri Knepp.

In addition to being a wonderful leader, Terri is a proud mom of a LVMPD officer and she delivered supplies to survivors and families at the Convention Center the day after the tragedy.

Asst. Principal Rhonda Calvo at Jerome Mack Middle School invited officers to the school where they were presented with their Tribute Cards.  


Many of the schools chose to deliver their cards directly to recipients, which we love, because it creates that personal bond between the students and those who serve!

Principal Laurie Roelofs and her students contributed 100 cards to the cause - it was a pleasure meeting her and visiting her school!

Silvestri Junior High School


On Friday, December 15, Principal Merry Sillitoe and the enthusiastic students at Silvestri Junior High held an assembly honoring First Responders.  The event was amazing - and well attended by firefighters, EMTs, police officers and therapy dogs! 

The First Responders were presented with cards for their units and a special treat bag!

Principal Sillitoe and her wonderful staff put together a fantastic show, with the Jazz Band and the Orchestra playing, the cheerleaders performed, the choir sang and danced.  Two student leaders, Leila who is in Student Government and Phillip who is a co-captain of the basketball team, spoke on behalf of all the students and delivered a uplifting and inspiration message to the First Responders, expressing their gratitude for what they do every day to protect the community.


Please read their messages below.

Message from Student Leaders


Good afternoon Silvestri Junior High School. I am Leila Hill, your student body president. As we all know, there was a terrible tragedy on the first of October, here in Las Vegas. Many people were injured or killed during the attack that occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. That evening, our community’s emergency and medical response teams, along with law enforcement, were challenged to help those affected during this event. Collectively they are known as first responders. They are trained professionals, who are ready to jump into action, no matter what time or day it may be, whether they are on duty or off duty. The jobs they do are difficult and sometimes dangerous. Thanks to their efforts, skills, and courage, our community is better equipped to manage emergency situations. We are here today to thank our first responders for the work they do in making Las Vegas a better and safer place, to live.



My name is Phil Shamburger and I’m a starting guard for the Silvestri Boys Basketball team.  As a leader on the court I know how important it is to make quick decisions, and not just any decision but the right decision. The first responders had to do the same, but the difference was their decisions had lives depending on it. Even though these people train for these kind of situation it still takes extreme bravery to embed it into a real life situation.

We are relieved to know that when a disaster does takes place, we aren’t alone. There are great people out in the world that are willing to sacrifice their time to serve their country with pride. We appreciate everything you do for us when crisis strikes and people in general take you for granted whether you are on duty or not. You have a very important role in this world and we are truly thankful for all of your service.

The pressure you are under is immense, and it’s kind of like making a free throw with the game on the line. But what you do is not a game, it’s reality and we wanted to show you how much we appreciate you and all things you do for us. As an individual you are already incredibly strong, but you’re not alone, Silvestri Junior  High School along with the rest of Las Vegas, Nevada is with you, and together we aren’t just strong…. We’re Vegas Strong.





Meeting so many officers, from the random street officer that I gave my Starbucks card to, to Captains. John Pelletier and Kelly McMahill, was the highlight of the trip.  At each delivery, the cards were received with a heartfelt "thank you for thinking of us" and "I can't believe you are doing this for us."  


Pelletier's station handles all criminal activity on the Las Vegas Strip and Convention Center area and every officer was involved in some aspect of the shooting tragedy.


Capt Kelly McMahill had only been assigned to this station two days prior to my visit and knew nothing about the project but she welcomed me with open arms, again, thanking Saluting America for organizing the project and getting all the students involved. 



Here is Dan Shinn, Events Manager for AMR and Medic West, who was supportive of our effort throughout the project.  The EMTs were awesome!  I don't think a lot of people realize how important they are to public safety, the training they go through and the stress their job involves - a huge THANK you to all!


That's Jamie, back row second from right, who greeted me at Medic West.  She rounded up all the crew for the photo and then gave me a tour of their facility!  Even the hardened EMTs, who see the worst possible of circumstances, were brought to tears by the messages the students wrote!

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