Veterans Day Assembly

Jasmine Reyes, Reporter

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Veterans Day is a celebration of our soldiers, those living and those who have fallen. We show our thanks for the hard work that veterans have done to protect and serve our country.

Morton West is holding its 9th annual Veterans Day assembly which has been done every year on November 11th since 2011. The school comes together to honor and celebrate all veterans and thank those servicemen and women who were able to come to the school for the assembly. Assistant Principal Timothy Brodeur along with a committee of Morton West staff including Brian Manfre, Janine Delmonico, Kendall Lager, Jackie Braniff, and Larry Pearce organized the assembly. This years assembly includes student speakers reading different poems and small paragraphs from veterans. There was an honor table set up representing the branches of the military. 

Honor Table at the Veterans Day Assembly

The Morton West band, orchestrated by Dr. Larry Pearce, band director played The Star-Spangled Banner, the Military Branches’ theme song, and Tapps. The assembly was led by the Army National Guard who presented the colors and the American flag,  the pledge of allegiance followed. During the moment of silence, the school felt connected to one another, just being able to honor and give thanks to those that served and are serving now was rewarding. Even for students to be able to stand up and honor their family members in their presence that might be currently serving or simply could not make the assembly was wonderful. Staff at Morton West who have served was incredible, Ron Konopasek, custodian said “Veterans day…… actually thinking about other servicemen. My dad, my uncles, my other brothers. I come from a family of 5 boys, and all 5 of us served at one time, drove my ma crazy. We’re all Vietnam era. Actually that’s what I think about every veteran’s day, especially my dad and my uncles, not knowing their stories because I was at a young age when they died… That’s what veterans day actually means to me is my family, and actually the military is my family those are all my brothers. Those are my brothers, my sisters, I belong to the biggest family that there is.” Being in the armed forces brings pride to the people who have served, feeling connected to one another as if they really are family. Renee Polk, United States Air Force, said, “Veterans day means to me, just basically honoring all of my brothers and sisters and those that served before me. Just thanking them, you know, for paving this way. And it helps me remember why I decided to serve and join. So, it’s just a day to just kind of sit bit and it’s not memorial day but just kinda take in all the hard-working service that we do and remembering those that done the hard work before me, it’s pretty cool”

During the Assembly

Many people serving now think of veterans day as a day of recognition to not even themselves, but to others who have served before them, and that’s what’s heart filling from our veterans. To even be apart of the recognition we do as a school, could feel so amazing, Ron Konopasek, said, “Honored….. It’s an honor to be apart of the assembly especially for actually being staff, setting it up and getting it ready for other events. It’s an honor, to show them appreciation for their service. For me, I don’t care about myself it’s the other vets coming out. Give them a welcome home and thank yous that we never got when we came out of the Vietnam era.” Michael Coleman, Army National Guard, said,“You know what considering the fact that I’ve been recruiting out of this school for the longest, and the fact that I’m a veteran means a lot. The recognition to be appreciated for the things that we do, to be acknowledged for the things that we do and for just the fact I’m available to the school for them to give me the opportunity to be apart of it means a lot.”  Even for our school to be connected to companies to recruit students is a good thing, trying to help students and give them a good opportunity for life and to succeed is a nice thing. This assembly brought many smiles and even joy to our staff,  Veterans, and also our students and was a good way to show our acknowledgment as Morton Mustangs.