Each year on November 11, we take time to honor the men and women who have served our country. In an effort to acknowledge the courageous acts and dedication of those who have fought for our nation, Social Studies department head Dr. Forbes created both a contest and an assembly centered around the holiday. Students were asked to answer the prompt, “Why should we honor veterans?” in an essay, poem, or creative writing piece. Those who were interested were free to be as innovative as possible, while keeping in mind the November 4 due date. Several history teachers encouraged students to get involved by providing extra credit points for entering. Once November 4 passed, contest winners were selected and given an opportunity to read their work at the Veterans Day assembly during school.
“I wrote about how veterans represent red, white, and blue. Red symbolizes their courage, white symbolizes their sacrifices, and blue symbolizes their loyalty,” senior contest winner Chris Colon said. Senior Jacob Goldberg was also asked to read an excerpt from his winning essay, which chronicled the history behind Veterans Day, and how the holiday came to be.
As the ceremony progressed, seniors Rhett Hoskinson and Jarrod Trief interviewed WWII veteran and Brighton Garden resident Paul Levi on stage. Trief and Hoskinson were able to delve into Levi’s experiences as a military officer. Levi discussed his involvement in the Battle of Anzio, which played a pivotal role in working towards Italy’s 1945 liberation. Senior Jarrod Trief was initially struck, not by Levi’s impressive accomplishments, but by his positive outlook on life. “Despite the tragedies and hardships that Paul faced during his time in the military, he was able to remain incredibly positive while reflecting on his experiences. He always looked to see the best in his situation,” Trief said.
It is fair to say that the Veterans Day assembly was a success, with students walking away with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the commitment those serving are asked to make.