Washington High School (WHS) recently invited all veterans and current service members to join the Blue Lions for a free meal this Friday.
“Our students are honored to be able to serve those who have served,” Washington High School Principal Tracy Rose said during an interview Wednesday. “We have over 30 student council members who are ready, eager and prepared to make this a special occasion. They are ready to help pay tribute and say ‘thank you’ to those who served us. Especially after (Tuesday) being an Election Day, we had a lot of discussion with our kids to explain those days would not be possible without the veterans who served. To make that connection was eye-opening for our students.”
Starting at 11:15 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. on Friday, veterans can enter the gymnasium doors at Washington High School to relax and enjoy a meal at their leisure. The menu will consist of BBQ chicken breast and Salisbury steak, with corn, green beans, and scalloped potatoes as sides. A dinner roll with butter will accompany each meal, with water, lemonade, and tea being served to drink. The meal will also feature cookies for dessert.
“We usually had a great big school-wide assembly, I did those for six years, and one of the concerns that came up from the students was that they never had a chance to actually talk with the veterans and never got a chance to say ‘thank you,’ personally,” Rose said. “We wanted to provide an opportunity where they feel like they don’t have to run. We gave them an hour and a half, and that gives the students a chance to come by during their lunch period if they would like to say thanks.”
Rose said that during the day Friday, teachers will have some Veterans Day activities and lessons for the students, and will encourage them to stop by and say hello to the veterans. Rose also encouraged veterans to stop by for as little or as long as they would like. Following the lunch, at 12:45 p.m., WHS will host their annual Americanism assembly in Liberty Hall. The assembly will include around 100 to 150 students, a patriotic piece performed by the Washington Symphonic Choir, and winners for the annual Americanism test.
“This interaction with students is, to me, more powerful than the assembly,” Rose said. “The pomp and circumstance certainly is something that we are always in awe of, but I think it is the interaction and stories that these students will take with them for a lifetime. A lot of our students also have family that has served and the ability to just say ‘thank you’ means a lot to them and brings Veterans Day to have more meaning for more people.”
Washington High School encourages all local veterans and service members to start their Veterans Day weekend with the Blue Lions. The students are excited for the opportunity to give back to those who have given so much to the nation.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.