By Amanda Malnik
On Nov. 11, Oak Hall students will celebrate the lives and memories of veterans that have served our country with assemblies. Upper and Middle School students will attend one joint assembly at 9:30 a.m. in the theater. Michael Martinez, Director of Technology, plans the assembly. Martinez started the tradition of having a Veterans Day Assembly 20 years ago when he was the only veteran at the school. “Every year we bring in a veteran [from] widely different backgrounds. Sometimes we’ll have people from the school who are veterans speak,” Martinez explained.
The veteran will teach students in sixth through 12th grade what it means to be a veteran and their unique experience of serving our country. Once the presentation is complete, students will engage in a question and answer session with the veteran. Martinez finds that the question and answer session can sometimes be the most fascinating part of the assembly to students. He elaborated that the main purpose of the assemblies is to show students that veterans were just like them at one point in their life. “We went to high school, and we sat in audiences just like they did. Nothing extraordinary about us except that we put our life on the line,” Martinez articulated.
In the Lower School, students in second through fifth grade will attend and participate in a Veterans Day Assembly at 1:30 p.m. in the Lower School multi-purpose room. Erin Cushing, one of the Lower School music teachers, described the assembly as an educational and musical assembly that will answer questions such as, “When is Veterans Day?, What is Veterans Day?, Who is a veteran?, Why do we honor our veterans?, and How can we honor our veterans?,” Cushing explained. Students will run the entire assembly with minimal teacher assistance.
To begin the assembly, a group from The Veterans of Foreign War will come to present the colors. fifth grade students write and perform their own speaking parts for the presentation. In addition, patriotic songs will be performed throughout the assembly. The families of second through fifth grade students will be invited to the assembly to watch. In addition, a letter will be sent to students inviting veterans from their families to come to the assembly, and be recognized for their service.