Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veteran's Day

The recent tragedy at Fort Hood and moving memorial services are a harsh reminder that we live in a dangerous world.  The tragedy's proximity to Veteran's Day has heightened the significance of this year's celebration for many.  While some schools mark the holiday with a day off, other schools are in session and have special events honoring men and women in the military.  In a K-1 school I was in this week, students and staff made a special video for those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.  Many schools invite local veterans to visit the school to be thanked in person by the students.

While yesterday was been set aside as a special day of gratitude, we must recognize that our veterans are heroes year round. Especially in a time of war, the decision to enter the military is a supreme act of service. Though we honor them today, they serve us every day. Just recently, I sat with a young man, a senior on an Aspirations Team in a high school, who said he has known since he was a freshman that he wanted to enter the military.  I have talked with numerous 16 and 17 year olds who told me that after graduation they were entering the Army or Marine Corp, the Air Force or the Navy.  The work I do, listening to students like this young man and taking seriously their ideas and point of view, is in the service of improving schools. Young men and women a mere one or two years older are committing themselves in the service of our country far from the families and teachers that enabled them to hear such a call.  These young men and women make me incredibly proud to be a citizen of this country. If you are reading this and are a veteran: Thank you.

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