Students honor veterans in school-hosted assembly


During the Nov. 9 assembly, students brought signs to raise up as the veterans entered the gym. The signs were meant to show student support for the various branches of the armed forces.

Kylie Carrier , Entertainment Editor

About 115 veterans and guests were given a warm welcome by staff and students at the Veterans Day assembly on Friday, Nov. 9. This is the second time the school has hosted what is expected to become an annual event because the assembly also has become a very personal experience for staff and students– many are or have family members who are veterans.

“I’m so proud of MHS and this community. They did an awesome job greeting our veterans,” Gymnastics Coach and Veteran Tracy Carlson said.

The school band welcomed veterans into the assembly as the audience provided a standing ovation.

“The best part about being a veteran is the drum roll in and seeing such respect from our student body,” Tracy Carlson said.

Once the veterans were seated, the event kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance by junior Matthew Pawlowski and with the singing of the National Anthem by the Concert Choir and the Master Singers under the direction of Cory Thompson and Stevee Bellas.

“I thought that the assembly was very respectful, especially having them walk into the gym filled with the applause by the students and staff of MHS,” said daughter of Tracy Carlson, sophomore Lauren Carlson.

The organizers of the assembly then showed a video that described Armistice Day and its history. The video targeted those who were unfamiliar with this national holiday.

“This yearly Veterans Day assembly should happen every year because these veterans have dedicated their lives to helping us and our country, and it’s the least we could do to honor them in an assembly,” Heather Avis, senior, said.

After the Veterans Day video, the school’s band performed the Wind Ensemble Armed Forces Medley, which featured the theme songs of the five branches– the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

“All [the veterans’] dedication to this country deserves to be recognized,” Lauren Carlson said. “Each veteran has an impact on this nation whether it be little or big.”

The keynote speaker at the assembly was MHS Distinguished Alumni Honoree Brigadier General James Swanson, who graduated from MHS in 1967. He spoke about his experiences as well as what should inspire MHS students. He also recognized the contributions of veterans to American society.

“With my dad being in the military, I know how much it means to veterans when people just simply say ‘Happy Veterans Day’ to them, so having an assembly means the world,” Avis said.

Student volunteers also helped welcome the veterans to the school and directed them where to sit in the Main Gym. Five students also raised the flag of the military branch being recognized during the band’s melody performance.

“I think that everything was unique and original,” Lauren Carlson said. “I believe Mundelein did a great job recognizing all those who have served and dedicated themselves to our amazing nation.”

It was especially personal and meaningful for Tracy Carlson.

“To be able to stand up next to my dad when my branch’s song is played is the most amazing experience, especially because it is being played by our very own community kids,” she said. “It brings tears to my eyes every time. I look forward to it every year now.”