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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Veterans Day Assembly united FHC in honoring the veterans and the countless sacrifices they have made

A+photo+from+the+Veterans+Day+Assembly+where+FHC+students+stand+to+honor+the+veterans+for+all+theyve+done
Alex Smith
A photo from the Veterans Day Assembly where FHC students stand to honor the veterans for all they’ve done

Every year, our school hosts the annual Veteran’s Day Assembly. Often, students like the excuse for a break from class or complain about having to sit through the entire assembly, but many don’t realize the significance and importance the Veterans have on our lives today. FHC’s Veterans Assembly is to honor the veterans for serving our country and the sacrifices they made that both directly and indirectly affect everyone in our school and the community.

Veteran Arnaldo Acevedo served in the army for two years and was stationed in Italy; he attends the Veterans Assembly almost every year to help teach students about the sacrifices made and the lives lost. 

“[Veterans Day] is important because there is no greater honor than to put your life on hold for your country,” Acevedo said. “And even if you never see combat, the fact is that you were able and ready to do what was needed. [It is important] to see that it is not really forgotten for those who were left behind.”

[Veterans Day] is important because there is no greater honor than to put your life on hold for your country. And even if you never see combat, the fact is that you were able and ready to do what was needed. [It is important] to see that it is not really forgotten for those who were left behind.

— Arnaldo Acevedo

While AP U.S. History teacher Steve Labenz didn’t serve in the military, many of his relatives did, and he has helped to facilitate and organize the assembly every year. As he continues to teach students at FHC, it is easier to notice a pattern in which teenagers are not as knowledgeable about veterans and the military in general. 

Since Labenz was a high school student the world has undergone immense changes in a short period of time and it’s already noticeable in how current students view both the veterans and our world. Labenz, as a U.S. history teacher, gets to educate students about the significance of veterans and the difficulties they have overcome.

“As I looked out at the group of veterans with us, I realized that the Vietnam vets are now ‘the old guys’ in the way that WWI and WWII vets were to me when I was younger,” Labenz said. “As fewer and fewer people have an understanding of what war’s impact is, it’s easier to forget the hardships and sacrifices that these people make. I think it’s important that we do our best to try to impress that fact on the students at FHC.”

Acevedo gets to see what it’s like to be a part of our community as a veteran and how we honor them every year. Many students from FHC have gone on to serve, and even though he isn’t from Michigan, he still sees the caring community that’s been fostered. 

“I think it’s a great idea, you know oftentimes people forget [about veterans],” Acevedo said. “It’s good to see that high school students get a chance to see firsthand those people that went out there and did what they had to do to preserve our way of life.”

Someone else who has a better understanding of veterans than most is sophomore Colton Comiskey whose father served in the Marine Corps for 21 years. He takes great pride in his father’s career and in the way FHC honors veterans. 

As a student and son of a veteran, Colton has more insight into both perspectives of how they are celebrated and remembered. He sees how students often don’t appreciate veterans enough and how they can be undervalued.

I believe the school assembly is a great tradition at our school,” Colton said. “I feel like veterans don’t get as much recognition as they deserve and to bring them together in a ceremony of honor is a great solution for that.”

The assembly is just a fraction of the appreciation and respect they deserve for enlisting, and for some FHC students, this might be their future. Enlisting in the military after high school can be a popular path for those who decide they want to serve our country, and Acevedo, as someone who enlisted when he was young, brings a lot of perspective and insight into why it’s a good decision.

I think [enlisting] is the best way to really get in touch with your moral fiber and to find out about your commitment and to find out about all the strength you have within you,” Acevedo said. “It helps you realize that, at times you have energies and strengths you are not aware of until you find yourself in that situation. It gives you a chance to find out more about yourself and explore which way you want to go and gives you time to better know what you’re made of.”

It’s crucial to remember and honor veterans every day for the sacrifices they’ve made that grant us many of the privileges we have now. Even as it becomes harder to remember, teaching the younger generations and continuing the legacy and remembrance of them is one of the best ways to carry on what they did.

Veterans Day is only a minuscule fraction of the year and only a tiny portion of the time we should spend to celebrate them. This assembly is FHC’s ode and ceremony to honor them for everything they have done and continue to do in our communities, it is an important event to remember those lost and those there and to set a precedent for future generations. 

“I am thankful that we have been able to establish this tradition, and I hope that when students walk the halls, they take just a moment to appreciate the nearly 350 Forest Hills and Forest Hills Central students that have gone on to serve,” Labenz said. “Maybe slow down and look at the pictures of those five students who were killed in action or scroll through the touch screen and just look at the faces. Realize that so much of what we enjoy today is because of what they have done.”

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About the Contributor
Addie Woltil, Copy Editor
Addie Woltil is a sophomore entering her second year writing for The Central Trend. She is excited about another year of writing on staff and more to come. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the mall, and watching overrated reality TV shows. She loves ending her day in room 139 and can't wait for what's next. Favorite fruit: Mango Favorite TV show: How I Met Your Mother Favorite day of the year: July 24th

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