Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Veterans Day

We are required to have a Veterans Day assembly every year.  Very often, it's a difficult day.  I find it distressing to try to get 8th graders to give right honor and respect to the complicated idea of what veterans do and have done for our country....About as distressing as trying to figure how I can extend appropriate honor and respect to that complicated idea.

And this in a school where about half our students have a military connection.  You can throw a pretty heavy stone from our building and hit Fort Lewis property.  Many mornings soldiers will be doing physical training activities on our field and track.

Well, this year we had the privilege of having Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, Medal of Honor winner, speak.   I don't know the precise criteria for winning the Medal of Honor, but as I told my class afterward, it has something to do with taking great risk to yourself in order to save your comrades.  More often, of course, the award is granted posthumously.

We had an inside track--his daughter attends our school, but seeing his humble demeanor and servant heart, I suspect he would call it a privilege to speak at a middle school anywhere.  

I count it an honor and privilege to have heard Sergeant Petry, who signed off his talk with the Ranger motto, "Rangers lead the way." 

Sgt. Petry, men of character lead the way.  Thank you.

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