Veterans Day: A day to honor our heroes

Veterans fire their weapons during the 21 gun salute. As the bullets flew, the flag was still hung high.

Maya Couch

Veterans Day is a holiday celebrated to honor those who served or have served our country and for us to show our respect for their efforts in the military. Veterans have risked their lives for the people of the United states, and to this day, we have nothing but respect for them.

Every year, America celebrates our everyday heroes, veterans. For their time served in war to protect us, they are treated with the utmost respect. Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” in 1919, the first anniversary of the end of WW1. In 1938, Veterans Day became an official holiday held on Nov. 11. Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Veterans today consists of all types of people: men, women, grandparents, friends, neighbors, co-workers, anyone really. About 16.1 million living veterans have been in at least one war in their lifetime, and 5.2 million have served during peacetime.

Veterans Day is also a day to take time to respect those who have died in war efforts. It may be a no brainer, but most people take the time to respect the ones still alive and not the ones that have died for us. The 21 gun salute is a respective time where the former veterans shoot their guns in the air to show their respect for the men in battle. They shoot three shots, one for the president, one for the vice president, and one for the men fallen in battle. They use guns called “21 Guns”.  Salutes are always in odd numbers, for example, the Vice President of the United States would rate a 19 gun. A high ranked general would rate a 17 gun. Other 4 star generals and admirals would rate 17 guns. Three star generals rate 15, two stars rate 13, and one star rates 11. Typically for the 21 gun salute, they try to use all officers from 11 star to 19 star.

Every year, the eighth graders of  David City High School put on a showcase for veterans that serve our country. With the help of Social Studies Teacher Lisa Bales, DCHS is able to make this possible. The program is made up of videos, speeches, and the 21 gun salute and “Taps” at the end.

The program kicked off with a Presentation of the Colors, where Veterans Jim Daro, Dale Cooper, and two others veterans presented the flag with honor and respect. At this time the national anthem was also played by the DCHS band to commemorate those who had fought in wars.

“It takes about a week in classroom time to create,” Bales said. “And every year the kids do an excellent job on the program, and I’m sure it will be a hit.”

Bales is the main director of this program alongside Computer Technician Adam Ebbeka and Media Specialist Ed Sieck who help create the program’s main videos. The two videos showcased this year were “What Veterans Wished We Knew” and “What We Wish Veterans Knew.”

“I feel like the video came along quite nicely and I really like the outcome,” eighth grader Grace Znamenacek said.

Like Znamenacek, other students worked on the videos like eighth graders Emily Glodowski, Jaley Schultz, Zachary Bongers, and many others helped create a video showcasing what the students of DCHS wished veterans knew. Across the board, it was how much the students appreciate veterans. Other students like eighth graders Jordan Palik and Neely Behrns created a quote video of stories that veterans shared.

“I feel like the program was a success,” Bales said. “It just amazes me how each year the kids do so much and are just really into it.”

Bales was not the only one who thought it was a success, but a fighter for the U.S Air Force, Jim Daro, also enjoyed the program.

“I feel like they did an excellent job on representing us,” Daro said. “It was very heartwarming and well done.”

The video “What we wish Veterans Knew” played in the gym while the men in uniforms watched quietly. The smilies that showed upon their faces lit up the room.

“I can’t say that I’ve had the same experience as everyone here,” Daro said. “They’ve walked out in the mud and in humidity and stuff while I was just flying an airplane, but just seeing that you care and respect us means so much more to me and I’m just very glad you did it.”