Some gave all, All gave some

Jenna Petrungaro, Managing Editor

“That is my great-grandpa, Rudolph Geist,” Senior Rudolph Geist said about his namesake, pointing to a black and white picture of a smiling young soldier of World War II posted outside the library.

Geist, wearing dress blues for Civil Air Patrol, took a red pen, and wrote “thank you so much Mom and Dad” on the white paper banner. Geist was sworn into the Air Force in September.

Geist’s relatives, including his parents, are some of the many veterans who were remembered on the Veterans Honor Wall last week.

“I feel like this school has done just an outstanding job at honoring all the veterans,” Geist said.

The wall project preceded the Veterans Day assembly on Tuesday. The project coordinated by teachers Mrs. Soule, Ms. Welch, and Mrs. Rea intended to honor veterans by collecting more than 60 photographs of those who are related in some way to Charterians.

To encourage students to view the wall and to remember their service, Mrs. Soule put together a trivia game with questions based on the information found on the Honor Wall. Students can submit their answers today for a prize.

Tuesday’s assembly featured teachers reading first hand-accounts written by those who served in the armed forces during World War II and the Vietnam War.

To open the ceremonies the choir performed “The Star Spangled Banner” as the American flag was presented by the Civil Air Patrol. Mr. Roner gave the history and significance of Veteran’s Day through the reading of  President Eisenhower’s Proclamation of 1954 that marked the creation of Veteran’s Day.

Mr. Waterhouse, whose family has served in nearly all of America’s conflicts dating back to the American Revolution, with a reverently solemn voice, read nurse Richard Sherman Seymour’s first hand account of his duties during the Vietnam War.

Then, from the top of the theater, Mr. Prodan narrated the heartbreaking letter from World War II private Michael Andrew Scott. Prodan’s grandfather served during World War II.

In an equally touching tribute, Mr. Vidosic read a letter from First Lieutenant Leonard Isaacs to his young sons. Isaacs was wounded and died during World War II. Mr. Vidosic’s father served as a submarine captain for 30 years.

Finally, Mrs. Bennett, whose husband, Sgt. Robert Bennett, spoke during last year’s Veterans Day assembly, gave an emotional reading of Sgt. Will Stacey’s final wishes. Choking back tears, Mrs. Bennett closed saying Stacy has died in action on Jan. 21, 2012 in Afghanistan and had previously served with Sgt. Bennett, Mrs. Bennett’s husband, in the 2nd battalion of the 4th Marines.

Mr. Waterhouse then returned to the podium to read a poem written by Vietnam nurse Jerry Ewen. The poem reflected the words of his aunt who served as a nurse during the Vietnam War.

“The purpose of the wall [and the assembly] is to remind students of the rich heritage they have in their individual families and in their Charter family,” Mrs. Soule said. “Hopefully, students will see that these were/are real people, some near their same age, who have endured incredible difficulties, and they will grow in appreciation of their sacrifices.”

The choir performed  the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” before the end of the assembly.

“It really inspires me, seeing all these people put others’ lives before themselves,” Junior Quiarra Barros said. “It pushes me more and more to want to go and be someone that sacrifices themselves for the rights of the people they love and believe in.”

Barros said she plans to join the military after high school.