By Sarah McGee
Every day during the school year, students stumble sleepily into their homerooms. The principle comes on over the intercom, “Let’s all stand for the pledge.” There are students who stand proudly, hand over their heart, and say the Pledge of Allegiance with honor. This is how it should be done. However, there are students who are too preoccupied with their conversations to stand on time for the pledge, or perhaps just do not bother to stop talking to say the pledge. Appalling as it may be, there are those who, when people say something about recognizing veterans, they roll their eyes, and mutter, “shut up,” but it may be that the blame cannot fall completely to them. Perhaps it is not apathy, but rather lack of information that causes them to act this way. So the big questions that need to be answered are “What is Veterans Day?” or perhaps, even a more basic question, “What is the flag?”.
Across America, above Walmarts, banks, federal buildings, schools, and in front of houses, a banner of red, white, and blue waves in the wind. The misunderstanding is that the flag is only what it is in the physical sense -- pieces of red, white, and blue fabric sewn together so Americans know which team is theirs during the Olympics. The flag represents a free nation. It stands for our founding fathers. Men like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and John Adams, who jeopardized their lives so that we could have a country in which to live. It represents every father, brother, cousin, or son who was killed in a convoy bombing on the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan. The flag stands for Veterans. Those of the past, those currently serving, and Airline High School students like Eric Duenas and Kentreal Feaster, along with many other seniors at Airline, who have already enlisted to join the armed forces in protecting our country. That is what the flag represents.
On Veterans Day, flags are flown high, hand-held flags can be found in almost every store and in the hands of those waiting to cheer on those in parades, and patriotism is at one of its highest points for the year. Veterans Day is a day when Americans take time to recognize those who have fought for our country, remember those who have laid down their lives, and celebrate the freedom to celebrate.
On Nov. 10, people crowded the fairgrounds in Shreveport to celebrate Veterans in our town. Among the 1,660 participants, Airline’s Air Force JROTC, lead by Trevail Lewis, and marching band, directed by Mr. Causey, and lead by drum majors, Jade Morgan, Cameron Gay, and Chelsea Clifton marched proudly down the route. Trucks and cars pulled floats holding Veterans from World War II and others from Veteran Nursing Homes in the area. It was during the parade that cheers went up, showing that there are those who will pass on their patriotism to future generations. This is the future of America. This is for what the flag stands. This is what Veterans day is all about, remembering our past, but looking to the future.
Sarah McGee is Editor-in-Chief of the Askalada, the student newspaper at Airline High School.