Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veterans remembered at St. Bernard

Students at St. Bernard Prep spent Veterans Day remembering the soldiers serving our country and those who have gone before us in death. Veterans Day is a time to come together to educate ourselves, and remember the solemn thing the flag is, the anthem, and the nation. Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, OSB said, “People from all over the world have flocked to these shores not because it’s an interesting place to visit but because there is great freedom and opportunity that has come at a great price.”

Fr. Joel offered thanks for those who offered the ultimate sacrifice, and asked God to bless them all. “Give us hearts expended with gratefulness for the generosity of those veterans because of whom we have inherited this land of the free.”

Junior student Elizabeth Schweers was the voice of the flag explaining itself: “My Red Stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation. My White Stripes signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons. My Blue Field is indicative of God's heaven under which I fly. My Stars clustered together, unify 50 States as one, for God and Country."

Jesse Schaffer recited a piece once spoken by Red Skelton. It was an explanation Skelton remembered from his 7th grade teacher, Mr. Laswell. In the work Laswell noted the students looked as though it had become monotonous to recite the pledge and decided to educate them on the pledge of allegiance. Shaffer read, “I, me – committee of one; Pledge – dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity; allegiance –my love and my devotion to the flag, our standard, old glory a symbol of freedom. Whenever she waves there’s respect, because your loyalty has given her dignity; which shouts freedom – it's everybody’s job. United – All come together; States - 48 individual states with pride dignity and purpose. And to the republic for which it stands – a state in which a severest power is representative in a message chosen by people to government. One nation – so blessed by God; Indivisible –incapable of being divided. Liberty- Freedom – the right power to live ones life without threats fear or some sort of retaliation. Justice – the principle quality of dealing fairly with others. For all – boys and girls it’s as much your country as it is mine.”

“Veterans Day reminds us who our real heroes are,” Fr. Joel said. “They are not athletes or Hollywood stars. They are people who put their lives at risk and give their lives for others . They wear combat boots, flack jackets, flight suits. We owe them gratitude.”

Veteran’s Day has its origin in Armistice Day in 1918 when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when WWI officially ended with the surrender of the German forces. Since that time the day has been carved into our national memory and used first as a day to honor WWI veterans, and then expanded to include all veterans.

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