The Mt. Vernon High School History Classes recently hosted a welcome home ceremony for Korean and Vietnam veterans. Students lined the walls with welcome home signs and cheered for the veterans as they walked through the hallways.
The event was hosted by history teacher Jennifer Roland who thought of organizing the welcome home ceremony while teaching her history class about the Korean and Vietnam War. She realized while teaching them that many students struggle to understand why these veterans weren't welcomed home, since they grew up in a post-9/11 era. She saw in a news story that a community held a welcome home ceremony for Vietnam veterans, and she thought that many students could benefit from an event like that.
To start the ceremony, students lined the hallways holding posters, some saying “Welcome Home,” “Thank you for your service,” and many others. Students cheered and applauded and chanted as the veterans made their way through the hallways. The veterans then went to the media center where the rest of the ceremony was held.
Roland and Dr. Robbins thanked all of the veterans for their service and for fighting for their country, even though their efforts weren’t appreciated at the time. Some veterans were moved by their words, and tears dropped from many. It was an emotional ceremony for the veterans who weren’t appreciated and were spit on after coming home from the war. Now they have received a proper welcome home, and they finally know how appreciated they truly are.
To end the ceremony, the veterans sat with the students and shared their war experiences with them. It was a beneficial experience for the students to learn the history of important wars and why they should be appreciative of all veterans that have served and still serve America.
Mt. Vernon students are learning more about American history through real stories and experiences that can’t be taught from a book. Thank you, all veterans, who have served America and give us the wonderful freedoms we have today!