North Mianus School held an assembly on Friday to remember those who died in active military service. About 18 veterans attended the event, and each of them introduced themselves.
Assistant Principal Kathleen Ramirez said some students were watching the event via live stream.
“Find the good in everything,” she said. “What we have learned in the last two years is we are really good at technology.”
A highlight of North Mianus School principal Angela Schmidt’s career has been the annual Veterans Day celebration, a day to honor veterans, those currently service, and community service workers.
Unfortunately, this past November the event was not held because the school was spit between two campuses while repairs were made the building following a flood in Feb 2021.
Ms Schmidt’s is retiring at the end of this school year, but the Veterans Day tradition will continue when Ms Ramirez becomes principal.
On Friday morning, after several patriotic songs and introduction of about 18 veterans who have connections to the school, featured speaker was James Waters, who served as a United States Navy SEAL officer for 12 years, talked about the meaning of the holiday.
“It has been a hard week after a hard couple of years,” Waters said. “It’s a solemn day. A sad day for many families across our great nation. A day in which we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.”
Waters said talked about missing his friends who had given their lives for their country.
“They were great men: men I counted on, men I trained with and went to war with, men who’d do anything for their teammates. Their names are Matt Leathers, Pat Feeks, Kevin Ebbert, Seth Lewis, and Brett Marihugh. Some of the best warriors there were.”
Waters explained why hundreds of thousands of Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“The answer is you. The answer is us. The answer is the country that we live in and what it stands for,” he said.
“Some people serve because it can help pay for college. Others do it because they have family members who’ve served and believe it’s important for them to do it too. Still others serve because they feel a calling to do something for other people, where they can have a direct impact on the world around us. And finally, many serve because they know it’ll give them experiences that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
Waters talked about unique experiences in the military like flying planes, learning new languages, traveling overseas and rescuing people from harm.
“Above all else, those who serve learn to work in teams. They might be the leader of the team or
an expert at a special skill,” he said. “One of the things I loved the most in serving as a leader in the military was learning that success required me to learn from those around me rather than bossing them around.
He encouraged students to celebrate the holiday and have fun, but also honor those who gave their lives.
“Say a little prayer, but do it with a smile on your face, knowing how lucky we are that we have
people who were willing to do this for all of us,” Waters said. “There is no better way to honor those who’ve served in our military than to have fun – and to enjoy the freedoms that they served to defend and protect.”