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Minarets Veteran's Day celebration

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Minarets High School hosted the third annual Veterans Day Celebration. Once again it was an incredible event. Thirty Veterans attended as well as their families and Minarets staff and students.

Each year, Minarets students interview veterans about their experiences in the war, their ideals of service and duty, and their perspective on history. Interviews consisted of veterans from World War II to veterans who are serving active duty. The students had an amazing experience and learned a lot more than they would from studying issues of war from a textbook. The interviews and the dinner were all organized and executed by Minarets Students.

This year Daniel Ching partnered with new Social Science teacher Jahmaal Sawyer in helping the students to organize the event. Sawyer spent time in classes preparing students for the event by going over interview strategies and reading "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'brien. He was thrilled to become a part of such an incredible event.

The dinner was a great time for visiting and sharing stories of service and camaraderie. The students served the veterans and had meaningful conversations with them. The program included videos from last year, speeches by student Sakura Schweizer, Ching, and Sawyer. Bill Samuelson and Irma Ortiz provided the guests with the "Call to Arms" and the National Anthem.

The keynote speaker was World War II Veteran Bill Bastian. He gave an amazing story about his time in Normandy and the planning of D-Day. He shared a letter he wrote home to his wife on the back of an escape map. The guests were enthralled by him as he showed the pencil he wrote it with and the map still in tact. His son in law Tom Barrans read the original letter from 1944.

This event is one that we all look forward to each year. It is so meaningful to the students, the veterans, and all that are lucky enough to be in attendance.

The newest videos will be available in the spring on youtube.com. Minarets is continuing efforts to raise money to build a Veterans Memorial at the entrance of the future football stadium as well as continue its mission of documenting the stories of our local service men and women.

- Minarets Correspondent

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