Holiday Activities - Veteran's Day
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Veteran's Day Assembly
A Veteran's Day assembly at Andrews (TX) HS salutes members of their community who have served in the armed forces. Veterans, widows of veterans, and their family members are invited to participate in the assembly, which features patriotic songs by the choir, performances by the school band of the national anthem and songs of each branch of the armed forces, a guest speaker, and recognition of the veterans. In addition, the school sponsors an essay contest on "What America Means to Me" with the winner receiving $50 and second place receiving $25.
The student council at Cold Springs HS in Bremen, Ala., conducted a special Veterans Day activity last year to honor those who have fought in wars. Students were asked to write the name of relatives or acquaintances who served in any war on an index card. Council members placed the cards on a wall in the main hallway, grouped together by the war they served in. On Veteran's Day, they held a special Memorial Assembly Program where members of the faculty who were in the service spoke to the student body. A similar activity was conducted by the student council at Clear Lake HS in Houston, Tex. In their activity students filled out a slip of paper with information on the veteran, including a box to check for if the person is alive or dead. The slips were then pasted onto a red or blue star, red for those who are deceased, blue for those still living. The stars were hung on a large sheet of butcher paper in a prominent spot at school.
Veterans Day Cards
After discovering that more than 700 veterans of the U.S. armed forces live at nearby Lyons Hospital, the student council of Bridgewater (N.J.) Raritan HS created a special project for Veterans Day. Each year student council members create handmade cards expressing sentiments of appreciation for the service these men and women gave to their country. Members of the council hand deliver the cards early in the week before Veterans Day.
Wall of Honor
Facing dwindling audience attention and participation at their annual Veteran's Day assembly, NHS members at Trout Lake (Wash.) School developed a new way to honor their community's veterans by creating a Wall of Honor. The goal was to display the names of relatives of Trout Lake students who had served, or were serving, our country in the armed forces. A form and cover letter sent home with students was accompanied by an article in the school newsletter of this K-12 school that explained the goal of the project. The form made it simple for students to record information: name, war or time period of the service, branch of military, and sponsoring student. Students returned forms during the week of Veteran's Day, with more than half of the student body turning in names.
NHS members created a display of the names of men and women who served in wars and conflicts from the Civil War to the present day. An eight and one-half foot by five-foot flag of red and blue paper served as the framework with the completed forms creating the white stripes of the flag. Additional names were glued to large sheets of red and blue construction paper and hung under and around the flag. The display was placed in the main lobby of the school with a dozen red roses at its base.
"The display looked great, but the students' reactions and the discoveries they made were even better," said Laurie Sherburne, NHS adviser. "I heard comments like, 'I didn't know my uncle actually fought at…" or "My uncle served under…" Students were discovering a connection between their families and the history of our country. They discovered a relative they didn't know they had or heard about some heroic deed that had been performed. They learned about their families and the sacrifices they had made," she said.
Instead of an assembly quickly forgotten, Trout Lake School had an experience that left a lasting impression. "The roses have gone but the flag is still displayed in our lobby several months later. And the term veteran may conjure up new meaning for many of our students," said Sherburne.
Additional Veterans Day Resources