Every second, the nation is upheld by men and women who put their lives on the line for the qualities of everyday life that many take for granted. On Nov. 11, students were given the opportunity to have a moment of reverence and respect for those who have fought for the country and who are currently fighting. At the assembly, students and staff were able to have their family members who have served in the military come to the assembly to be thanked for their service. Head building principal Mr. Nelson emphasizes the importance of learning from the experiences of veterans.
Even if you don’t go to war or something like that, if you know someone who’s served, there’s a lot of sacrifices that goes into that.”
— Mr. Nelson
“Being a veteran makes me appreciate America more than I probably did as a young person,” Mr. Nelson said. “Later on as you serve and kind of go around the world a little bit and serve with different people, being an American kind of means a little more to you than maybe it would otherwise.” Before becoming a principal, Mr. Nelson served in the U.S. Army, joining straight out of high school. Eventually reaching the rank of staff sergeant, Mr. Nelson attended infantry school and drill sergeant school while serving.
To veterans and those currently serving, Veteran’s Day has a common purpose to those practicing it.
It’s an opportunity for not only students, but the whole school to participate in a ceremony that they otherwise might not have experienced in their lifetime. Additionally, many students may not have a close family member who has served in the military, detaching them from the meaning of the holiday. Attending the assembly was Jim Hall, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. Joining in 2002, Hall is currently serving his 17th year.
“It’s just a day to remember those that came before us, as a veteran and anyone who served in general, just to honor them,” Hall said.
In the ceremony, veterans were honored through different forms, one being through the performance of “Taps”, a 24 note song commemorating the sacrifice of veterans. “Taps” was performed by senior Anakin McCormick, the section leader of the trumpets in the Liberty Eagle Regiment.
“They play it for the fallen soldiers and it’s a sign of huge respect, like when you can’t really put how you feel into words,” McCormick said. “I was pretty honored to play it. It’s a simple melody but it means a lot to a lot of people.”
Along with honoring the military, the assembly touched on how students can serve their country if they do not plan to enlist.
“What I would say for people who aren’t going to serve be kind to your brothers and sisters. Be a good mom. Be a good dad. Be a good neighbor,” Mr. Nelson said. “I love our Be Kind campaign that we do here, we might not even need an armed force if everybody in the world practiced kindness and was kind to their brothers and sisters or neighbors. The world could be a pretty different place.”
Through each different way that Veteran’s Day has been celebrated, whether it be through photos or videos, the assembly has stood out as a resonant, meaningful moment for the student body. For students, immersed in the media and politics, each day in the country doesn’t always conjure up much appreciation. But Veteran’s Day serves as a reminder of what the nation has earned, what the nation has fought for, and what the nation can take on in the future.
“So you travel the world, you start to understand America’s place in history,” Mr. Nelson said. “Not that we’ve always done things perfectly, but you get a sense that America is a pretty special place.”