The River embraces the significance of Veterans Day by sharing firsthand experiences with students.
Though most students see it as a day off school, the meaning behind this American holiday resonates much deeper. Sunday, Nov. 11, better known as Veterans Day, is meant to honor and thank those who have served the United States Armed Forces. The 2018 school year is particularly significant in the fact that it is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The River displayed its appreciation for fellow community members and teachers in a unique approach this year. PCSD teacher Cynthia Stedman, along with the rest of the history department, orchestrated an assembly for all history classes Nov. 5, where veterans spoke about their experience serving and what they have gained from their time.
“Veterans typically do not get the recognition and thanks that they deserve, and we want them to know that BRHS supports them in every way,” Stedman said. “We also want to show our students that there are people out there working and fighting for their country and their future. If just one student gets inspired to serve in our military and be a part of that something bigger, then it is all worth offering this most deserved assembly.”
Stedman’s father, who served in the Air Force for 20 years, was one of the men who spoke to the River’s students. Accompanying him were four of his friends who represented the Navy, Air Force and Army. Other veterans who spoke are part of the River’s very own staff. This includes social studies teachers Brian Kirchberg and Thomas Bellantonio, along with assistant principal Travis Cochran and CSM Figueroa. Each speaker offered a personalized experience during their service in their branches.
Nov. 11, 2018, the Marching Band of Pirates and Pirate Battalion participated in Palmettos Veteran’s Day festival by marching in the parade. Their collaboration was in appreciation of those who served the nation.
Photo courtesy of Mina Quesen.
Although the purpose of the assembly was to provide students access to each hero’s story, it also demonstrated the significance of the holiday. Many speakers shared the life lessons they gained through their selfless actions. These men and women risked sacrificing their lives in order to guarantee a safer tomorrow.
“I hope the students gained (more) respect for America,” Stedman said. “I hope they gained respect and compassion for the men and women who served, and who are currently serving. I hope they gained insight of how selfless people can be…I hope they gained a forever appreciation for our Veterans and I hope they have the willingness and heart to either serve in the military themselves, or the willingness and heart to reach out to our Veterans and sincerely offer them the thank yous that they most definitely deserve.”
Feature photo courtesy of Mina Quesen.