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Student column: A worthy event for local veterans

Veterans Day. It comes around once a year. At Farmington High School, we like to celebrate Veterans Day in a special way. We celebrate our veterans by hosting a Patriotic Day dinner and presentation.

The food at this event is spectacular. It’s something that many people look forward to about the Patriotic Day celebration. While enjoying your meal, you are surrounded by some of our outstanding veterans.

Each veteran has a different story to tell, and it amazes me how interesting each and every story is. Many times during the meal, you have the opportunity to talk to these veterans and listen to what they recall about the time they served. The stories are told in ways that make them seem real. It makes you feel, if even just for a moment, that you were there in their shoes. It gives you a glimpse of what they went through.

It’s truly astounding to witness the telling of these stories.

After the dinner, a presentation is held for all to watch. Every year this event is one I look forward to starting the first day of school. Not only do you get to hear the fourth grade choir sing, you get to listen to the beautiful sounds of the amazing FHS choirs. Also, the FHS concert band makes joyful music for you to enjoy throughout the evening.

In addition to listening to the choirs and band, you have the chance to listen to some guest speakers. Some of the speakers are veterans, who are more than happy to reflect on their service in the past. While most speakers are adults, there is one speaker who is a little different. This speaker is the winner of the Voice of Democracy contest.

In ninth grade, the civics classes write an essay about an assigned topic. The topic has something to do with democracy or our country. They are judged and the winner is selected. Then, before a crowd of many hundreds, the victor reads his or her speech.

It’s amazing to hear young high schoolers’ opinions on things that happen in our country. It truly lets them have their voice heard.

This Patriotic Day celebration is a memorable and honorable event which I look forward to each and every year. Not only does it make me realize just how lucky and blessed we are as a country, but it makes me realize just how much some people sacrifice so we can have that freedom.

During my daily life, I don’t think about that too often. But we truly are the land of the free, because of the brave. So thank you to all veterans: past, present, and future.