This weekend, we honor the men and women who have served in our military, in times of peace and in times of war. Veterans Day is more or less important to people, depending on their ages and experiences, but it’s always an event to be marked at Mount Si High School.
Historically, Mount Si High School has made a special event of the annual assembly, with performances by the school’s band and choir, introductions of all the attending veterans who come from a wide area, special speakers and video presentations and, in recent years, regular appearances by Fallen Heroes Project artist Michael Reagan.
This year, planning for the school’s Nov. 9 observation has been under way for more than a month, led by Associated Student Body officers and seniors, Adele Werner and Grace Lis. Both girls are eager to take their turns at coordinating one of the school’s largest community events.
“Veterans’ Day is probably our second biggest thing we have, and that’s probably our one assembly that brings the whole community together,” said Werner. “Parents tend to come and families.”
Werner, the ASB fundraising chairperson, heads the planning committee, which includes, Lis, the ASB secretary and a group of underclassmen.
One of their major responsibilities is to choose a speaker and set the tone for each year’s assembly. Their advisor, Athletic Director Darren Brown gave them the idea for it, in his work with the ASB as a whole.
Since becoming the athletic director over the summer, Brown said, “What we’re trying to do is tie in more student involvement… more student awareness, more student voice…. We’re trying to empower more kids to reach out and get involved in activities and be leaders, so we’re using our ASB group as the leaders really to help educate some of those kids.”
Through that effort, both girls said, the ASB group has come to look like the entire student body of Mount Si.
“It just kind of happened, I don’t know how,” said Werner, “but this year more than others, it really does represent the whole school.”
Werner and Lis felt that the Veterans’ Day assembly should also somehow represent the school, too.
Toward that goal, Lis said, “We’ve been working with the college and career center to get a list of Mount Si graduates who have gone into the military….We really want to look into getting one of those students to come speak for us.”
“In the past we’ve had older veterans coming to speak, which is awesome and we love that and there will be a lot of veterans coming to this assembly and sharing their stories,” Werner said, “but this year, we’re going to try and change it a little bit with our speaker and try to get someone who did go to this school, so that students, when they’re listening to them speak, feel a connection.”
“We were just trying to see if we can make it any better, or any different,” finished Lis.
That may be a recurring theme in ASB this year, but it’s also personally important to both Werner and Lis, whose sister, Claire, was originally involved in rallying school support for Reagan’s Fallen Heroes Project.
Grace Lis’ goal for the day, she said, is “I would like all veterans to feel welcome and feel that this was put on just for them. We really want to make sure that they feel honored… make them feel like this is their day.”
Werner adds, “I hope that the students kind of gain a different perspective on what sacrificing really is.”
The theme of the assembly, and of the student-made video is “Sacrifice,” Werner said. Student Andrew Holmes in the video production program will present his video, an interview with his veteran grandfather, on the theme of sacrifice, during the assembly.
“Hearing their stories… it’s really eye opening to hear what they’ve done for our country,” said Werner.
The Mount Si High School Veterans’ Day assembly starts at 1:20 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9 in the high school gym. The special guest speaker will be Sgt. 1st Class Burton, who joined the Army in 2003. Everyone in the community is welcome.
Around the district
Veterans’ Day assemblies are planned at most schools in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, starting on Wednesday. Following is the schedule for assemblies. All are open to the public.
- Snoqualmie Elementary School, assembly at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 8
- Cascade View Elementary School, assembly at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8
- Twin Falls Middle School, assembly at 9 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
- Fall City Elementary School, assembly at 9:15 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
- Opstad Elementary School, assembly at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
- Timber Ridge Elementary School, assembly at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
- Chief Kanim Middle School, assembly at 9:35 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
- Mount Si High School, assembly at 1:20 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
- North Bend Elementary School, assembly at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9