Student Congress Honors Veterans Day


Named Veterans on the flag in honor of their service (Photo by Libby Cooper)

Libby Cooper, Staff Writer

     Student Congress will be celebrating Veterans Day by bringing recognition to those who have served or are currently serving in the US Military on Nov. 11.
    “Veterans Day is very significant, as there are people who are out there fighting for our country every day. It is important that we honor these officials,” Student Congress treasurer, Lyric Moore said.
    Veterans Day is held on the anniversary of the end of the first World War. It was originally known as Armistice Day, when it was meant to solely honor the lives lost at war. However, when it was amended in the early ‘40s, it was changed to instead honor all veterans who have served in the US Military.

    The Student Congress executive group, which includes senior class president, Arielle Raveney, senior Brennan Huser and junior class president, Austin Chambers, is involved in the planning of Plano Senior’s traditional celebration of Veterans Day. According to the executive group, they are currently planning on asking students to write down the names of people they know have served or currently serve in the military. They will then create a giant poster containing all of the names.

    In commemoration of Veteran’s day, Student Congress has made the creation of their poster an annual custom. They wanted to bring a touch of patriotism to this yearly tradition by constructing a large American flag out of paper, as opposed to leaving it blandly undecorated. After putting all the names of veterans that were submitted by students and teachers, the flag is hanged proudly in the cafeteria.
    Steve Leonard, a Student Congress sponsor as well as a history teacher, served 22 years in the US Army from 1978 to 2001. He retired as an E-8 Master Sergeant.
    “The military is an incredible experience. You hate every place you ever are, yet three weeks after you leave, you miss it terribly. You can’t wait to be done, but then you spend the rest of your life wishing you were still there,” Leonard said.
    At the beginning of Leonard’s term, the nation’s wounds from Vietnam were still fresh, and people had less respect for veterans than they do today. According to Leonard, when people asked him or his friends if they were military, they would often lie and say they were firemen instead. Leonard was spat on and insulted when he was in his uniform out in public.
    “None of us joined the military to get rich, famous or powerful. We were just trying to give back to a country that had given us so much. To see the change in people’s attitude towards the military is very gratifying,” Leonard said.
    This day represents different things to different people, from those who have loved ones serving in the military to those who are veterans themselves.
    “Throughout our nation’s history, men and women have joined the military to protect the rights enshrined in the Constitution. So the best way to honor a Veteran is to cherish and exercise those rights that so many have given so much for,” Leonard said.