WGHS celebrates Veterans’ Day

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Aerin Johnson

Bret Waelterman
Video/Graphics Editor

Veterans and current U.S. Military personnel came to share their stories from war time, active duty and training on Nov. 7.

“I started this in honor of our veterans because I have always felt the need to thank the Veterans and show my appreciation to them,” said Terry Verstraete, social studies teacher.

November 11, the day Americans know as Veterans’ Day, came about from World War I, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. At the time, WWI was known as “the war to end all wars.” Though the Treaty of Versaillles was signed on June 29, 1919, the fighting officially ended on Nov. 11, 1918.

In 1926, the U.S. government made a proposal to make Nov. 11 an official holiday. The act was approved in 1938 and the holiday was called “Armistice Day.” Later in 1954, after World War II, the word “Armistice” was replaced with “Veterans” in order to honor the people in all wars, not just WWI.

“We were originally going to just build it [Veteran’s Day Celebration] around D-Day, the during the summer via the TV or the radio heard about the other two anniversaries, World War I and the Gulf of Tonkin,” said Pat Voss, Alumni Relations coordinator, about the planning the week for Veterans’ Day.

During the week of Veterans’ Day, students participated in several different activities. Voss said they planned activities around thing that students in the 21st century would not understand such as drafting, rationing and drawings of Kilroy.
Kilroy was originally created by James Kilroy, a ship inspector to show that he had inspected the ships. The soldiers in boats did not know this, but liked the symbol so much that they used to it to mark where they had been in Europe and the Pacific.

On Friday Nov. 7, Veterans came to the school and went to all the Social Studies classes and told stories of their time in the armed forces. There also was an Assembly at 8 am honoring the fallen, POW and MIA.
During the ceremony, there was a table set up for the MIA soldiers of Vietnam due to there being a large amount on MIAs during that particular war. The table had a glass, a red rose, a lemon slice and salt on it in order to remember the missing soldiers.

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