With Veterans Day approaching, students at Mount View Middle School gathered in the Clifford Performing Arts Center on Thursday, November 10, to pay tribute to military veterans.
Nine military veterans, from World War II to Afghanistan, were present and thanked by the students in a ceremony. Students Emma Mcpherson and Colby Brown began the event by leading those present in the Pledge of Allegiance. Students Benjamin Heath, Sawyer Inman, and McKenzie Kunesh read essays that they wrote based on interviews they had conducted with veterans during a previous field trip to the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor, Maine. Cassondra Heath, Jonathen Reynolds, Connor Aitken, McKenzie Kunesh, Victoria Balla, and Madeline Holmes, each shared a line from a poem, and the event concluded with Mount View Middle School’s 6th chorus, lead by Theo Van Deventer, singing “I Love This Land”.
After this ceremony, students returned to their classes for smaller conversations with the veterans. Questions and conversations ranged from the serious to the lighthearted. Holly Parker, both a veteran, wife, and parent of service member, told students about the difficulties of having a loved one overseas. “It’s tough to have family deployed. It’s easier being over there,” Parker said. Mike Whitcomb shared with students the secretive nature of his work. “We never really knew what we were doing. Our orders were just numbers and codes,” Whitcomb stated. When asked about his most difficult decision, Whitcomb described his decision about whether to reenlist or leave the Air Force. “I called home and it was -40 degrees, or I could spend six months in Nevada. It was a hard choice,” he said jokingly. Parker, an Afghanistan veteran, said that technology helped make her deployment more bearable. “I had a coffee machine, and we would get Girl Scout Cookies by the cases,” she shared.
Declan Knowlton, a 7th grader, said that, “It was really cool. We got to hear from these people about what they did.”
The veterans present were:
The Republican Journal included a small piece about the event in their summary of Veteran's Day activities in Waldo County. The link is included below.