The effects Veterans Day has on RB

Personal connections, special ceremonies make for a better holiday.


Photo By Destiny Herrera

The auditorium falls silent. Roughly 40 veterans stand at attention; those who can not stand salute proudly as a single trumpet begins to play taps. Its tone is somber; tears can be seen on the veterans’ faces. Perhaps they are remembering friends they lost, or people they loved who have passed.While Veterans day is recognized as a very important day across the nation, in many school districts it may be seen as just another day off. However, Veteran’s Day at RB is very different; both students and teachers agree that Veterans Day at RB is special.

November 11 starts out normal enough, with shortened periods that are similar to those on late start. At the start of second period students are ushered into the main gym to observe the playing of taps and hear the band and orchestra play each respective branch of the military’s anthem. Then, after a few speakers, classes split up into their rooms and have conversations with veterans.

While some of this may not seem out of the ordinary, Veterans Day is a very special occasion at RB. It doesn’t only affect the vets who we honor, but teachers’ and students’ perspectives on the holiday are forever changed as well. Before science teacher Dave Monti came to RB, Veterans day wasn’t anything special, just another day off. Monti’s perspective was changed when he started teaching here.

“Veterans Day never meant much to me as a kid growing up, and then coming here, it changed my outlook on it in terms of seeing the sacrifices that people made,” said Monti.

Veterans Day also has a very personal impact on many teachers and students at RB. Monti’s stepfather fought in Vietnam, and Aubrey Prince, a prominent member of the RBHS music department, has a husband in the forces. He has served a tour in Iraq and been deployed, but he is also a private contractor for the NATO base and U.S. allies.

Prince hopes that RB, and other schools like it, continue their Veterans Day ceremonies so that people like her husband will never be forgotten.

“I think it’s great that we take a moment to reflect, honor, and remember. Because if we stop doing these things, like these assemblies, it’ll become just another day on the calendar,” said Prince.

According to Monti, RB has had many students serve in the armed forces, but the schools connection to the military grew stronger when former student Christopher Sisson died while serving overseas. Sisson graduated from RB in 2002, and died in Iraq on September 2, 2003, when the helicopter he was riding in flipped over and crashed upon takeoff during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His death affected the entire community and gave RB an even deeper respect for veterans.

“I coached him, I was his science teacher, so that was very hard, and those experiences shape your character and your perception to days like today,” said Monti.

Veterans Day teaches students to respect men and women who served, and even students who do not have a personal connection to the holiday gain can see that the holiday is no joke, and should be taken seriously. When looking out amongst the stands you quickly realize that this is no normal assembly, the stands are silent, no whispering is heard and everyone is still. Everyone realizes that what the veterans did for our country is not to be taken lightly.

“Overall, I think students really respect the veterans and the special day for them. Personally, it’s one of the most outstanding events that we do at RB,” said Spanish teacher Margarita Acevedo.

Acevedo’s brother served in Iraq in the early 2000s and is still on active duty with the US Army. She believes that lessons taught on Veterans Day are very important, and the way that they are taught at RB is very special.

“[Veteran’s Day] Is one of the most memorable and amazing events at RB. It gives them [the students] an idea of possibly knowing their freedoms and why we have such a great country,” said Acevedo.

Senior Francesca Perry’s father, John Perry, is a veteran who annually attends the RBHS Veterans Day assembly. He served from 1982 to 1986.

“He really enjoys it because he likes to be remembered and he likes remembering his time in the army. He was in the army in the early to late 80s, lots of things have gone on since then so he likes to go back and remember some of them,” said Perry.

As Perry’s daughter, Francesca appreciates the assembly and the way RBHS honors the veterans.

“Luckily enough my dad is still with us. There are many who have lost someone. I think it’s nice to celebrate and remember everyone affiliated with the military,” said Perry.

From beginning to end, Veterans Day at RB is truly special. Regardless of political beliefs, personal connections, or any other factors, everyone comes together to thank the brave men and women who served this country.

“You may not agree with the politics of the war, but the sacrifices that those men and women make, I can’t thank them enough,” said Monti.