This article originally appeared in the Friday Nov. 15, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.
Faith Christian Academy students got the opportunity to sit down with a veteran on Monday, gaining primary insight into their lives and journeys in the military.
Celebrating Veterans Day with a musical assembly followed by a continental brunch, Faith Christian Academy honored veterans and active members in all branches of the military. The assembly included prayer and several lessons on the meaning of patriotic symbols in the United States.
“Veterans Day occurs on Nov. 11 every year in the United States, in honor of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 that signalled the end of World War I, which was known as the war to end all wars,” Ashely said. “November 11 was originally called Armistice Day, and in 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.”
She also spoke about the meaning behind the familiar song “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and the incorporation of prayer and faith in the message.
“In the second verse, see how the Lord uses trials to sift men to see if they are a follower of Christ, a follower of self or a follower of the world,” Ashely said. “In the third verse, see how Christ bore all of our sins on the cross so we could have a restored relationship with our creator if we accept his gift.”
Students Delaine Dooley and Daniel D’Este read historical accounts of significant figures in military history.
Dooley spoke on the Civil War account of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker.
“159 years ago today, Nov. 11, 1865, President Andrew Johnson awarded the medal of honor to Dr. Mary Edwards Walker,” Dooley said. “[She was] the only female recipient of the medal.”
D’Este spoke from the Korean War account of Army Second Lieutenant Darwin K. Kyle.
“Darwin Kyle distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy,” D’Este said. “When his platoon had been pinned down by an immense fire, he completely exposed himself to move along and encourage his men to continue the advance against the enemy forces.”
Claudia Ledesma, a parent of a student attending Faith Christian Academy, played a Military Medley on the piano, which blended songs from every branch in the military. Administrator John Taylor spoke about the history behind each branch, and invited the veterans attending the ceremony to gather at the front of the stage once they heard their branch’s tune.
Taylor prayed over the Veterans, asking that they be given peace and meet their needs in order to continue fostering the deep love within them.
Following the assembly, the veterans were escorted by the students to the cafeteria, where they ate brunch. The students were dispersed through several tables, and interviewed the veterans on their experiences and how their service shaped their lives.