FHC honors Veteran’s Day in a unique way


Over 1000 people standing tall, looking to the flag, pin-drop silence.

Over 1000 people turned, looking at the waving red, white and blue.

Over 1000 people standing tall, filled with pride for the men and women who fought for our country.

This morning, Nov 10, all students and faculty entered the gym for an assembly. Unlike your typical assembly of chants, music, and laughter, an atmosphere of honor flooded the room. Along with members of FHC, US Veterans entered the gym following a line of bagpipes and a drum.

For senior and future army member Josh Sweeney, who played a key role in planning the assembly, pride was evident from the look on his face as the school fell silent to honor those who served.

“I was incredibly humbled, and I was amazed at how respectful everyone was,” Josh said. “Normally at assemblies, everyone is jumping out of their seats, but everyone paid respects, everyone was quiet and courteous because these vets took the time to come out. It’s such an honor to have them here. For the student body as a whole to embrace them and show them respect meant so much to me and I’m sure meant the world to them.”

Between a color guard, bagpipes, and an FHC choir and band learning and performing a medley of the songs from each branch of the US Military, this assembly was not planned overnight. In fact, it took almost an entire year to plan.

“Well it all started last year,” Josh said, commenting on how the idea arose, “when [ history teach Brad Anderson and I] went to a luncheon at the Amway Grand– it was a big event that brought a lot of people together. Last year’s vets and different schools came and I really wanted that to be our thing.”

Once they heard the idea, both Anderson and Josh knew they had to set it in stone.

“They were encouraging us to start something similar at our own schools,” Anderson said. “We were talking afterward as we were listening to the pipe band. [We] were by the river and we decided that we wanted to do a vet’s day assembly to honor our local vets and it would be a tribute to those who never made it home.”

Josh and Anderson worked together to put the whole thing together by dividing and conquering. Since Josh is involved in a squadron, he was able to contact an award-winning Color Guard from Muskegon and Anderson organized the pipe band.

Once everyone was in the gym, the National Anthem had been sung, and the choirs and band had sung their songs, Anderson was able to recognize the Veterans that had served in the room. One, in particular, had a very special recognition: Homer Spidell, Veteran and Head Custodian

For a man of so few words, there was an abundance of them to be said about him. After serving both the military and FHC for numerous years, his few words about his recognition show how moved he was.

“Very honoreda�� Very honored,” Homer said.

The entirety of the day showed the Rangers’ true colors and both Anderson and Josh look forward for years to come, as both were incredibly moved by today’s events.

“I’ve never been more proud to be a Ranger– and there are a lot of moments I’m really proud of– but that was a moment where I looked around and saw an entire community that was incredibly focused, respectful and showing the perfect decorum for such an occasion,” Anderson said. “I was so proud of our student body. It’s a testament to our senior leadership. It was a testament to our student body, to our football team, to our athletic department, it’s a testament to the growing school pride in our school, and TCT, and it culminates to moments like that where our school pride took over and showed our true colors.”