Written by Sydney Church and Kerryanne Longyear|
Photos by Abby Pitara|
Video by Darby Oboiski and Rachel Gelven|
During this year’s Veterans Day assembly, veterans, along with students and faculty who have family and friends who have served in the military, were honored and given the respect they deserve. The assembly started with the color guard presenting the colors, followed by an introduction from Principal Keri Hagness. That was followed by student speakers and performances from the band and chorus. The assembly closed with veterans taking the podium to speak to the audience.
Gabby Bussiere, Bianca Arias, Melissa Crum, Alyse Olcott, and Cassidy Shepard all read letters that soldiers serving in the military wrote home. The letters were written during several different time periods, such as World War II, Vietnam, and the Second Gulf War.
The band played the National Anthem, and later in the assembly played the songs of the different branches of the military. Veterans, as well as students who have a relative that served, were asked to stand when their branch’s song was played. The chorus performed the song “Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones” and the Morgan rock band played “God Bless the USA” which was accompanied by the chorus and band.
After the assembly, a few veterans shared their reactions to the assembly. “It’s great to see them not just have the day off”, said Robert Hansen a Morgan graduate, class of 1968. “The students get to hear our stories and experiences”.
Joe Diedrick, another veteran who attended the assembly, said he “loved the engagement of the students and the respect they show the veterans” and that it was “nice to see the standing ovation from the students”.
Two of the veterans who got up and spoke to the crowd at the assembly were John Longyear and Thomas Jordan. Mr. Longyear described his experience as “very nerve-wracking” but spoke about his friend’s loss because it’s ”important to see someone who’s lost a family member like that because it does happen”. 93-year-old Navy vet Thomas Jordan said the event was a “very solemn occasion out of attribute and respect,” and he enjoyed and respected the other speakers. He said that “there was no laughing or giggling. It was a solemn occasion, and I appreciate that”.
Every year after the assembly, The Morgan School holds a luncheon for the veterans that attended the assembly. The veterans congregate in the Learning Commons, where they are served. Prior to the luncheon, Morgan’s Family Consumer Science teacher Joanne Nunan has her Foods 2 class prepare the cuisine. The menu consists of a soup bar, bread, beverages, and a smorgasbord of desserts provided by the culinary program.
Mrs. Nunan’s favorite memory from a luncheon was connecting with her children’s old friend. She was unaware that he was in the forces and enjoyed catching up with him. Mrs. Nunan’s intent for holding the annual luncheon is to make the veterans feel special and to provide them with a hearty lunch in their busy day. The students themselves were very proud of their final products that were served for the occasion. One student, Carter Skidmore thought it was, “a great way to be able to connect with the veterans as well as attending the assembly”.