Windsor High School celebrates Veterans Day
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Nov. 14, 2013
Windsor High School honored local veterans and educated students on the sacrifices made by members of the military during a Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.
According to Interim Superintendent of Schools Craig Cooke, Windsor’s decision to keep students in school on Veterans Day has been praised by the community and even other school districts. “This assembly was to recognize some very important veterans from the town who are just so important to our community,” said Cooke.
Local veterans were honored that morning, as each one was introduced and recognized by a student. The band, under the direction of veteran Steve Ortiz, played each service branch’s song while a short history was read aloud.
“This is an event to honor our veterans and expand the knowledge and thinking of the students,” said Principal Russell Sills.
One highlight of the morning was the speech made by UConn professor Jelani Cobb, an author and columnist, and the director of the Institute of African-American Studies at UConn.
Cobb chose to honor Veterans Day by speaking about one of the wars long-gone in our memories, except in history books: The American Civil War. His particular focus was the contribution made by African-Americans. “This country would have had to fight the Vietnam War 11 times, or World War II more than two times, to reach the number of casualties that we saw during the Civil War,” he said.
Cobb went on to describe the effort which was made for African- Americans, many of whom were slaves, to enlist in the fight. He said that in the general public, there were some misgivings about whether those who had lived their lives in slavery would be willing or able to pick up a gun and fight. But they did.
“Many of them were willing to sacrifice their lives willingly,” said Cobb.
According to social studies department chair Nancy Crilly-Kirk, Cobb’s message was well received by the students, and Cobb is interested in working with Windsor High School students again in the future in the form of assemblies and programs.
The local veterans honored at this year’s ceremony were: Ronald Wilson, Steven Ortiz, John Clark, Michael J. Aarons, Michael Daugherty, William Storey, Robert Lougee, Alexis Izquierdo, Joe Tria, Carmelo Pena, Christopher McKee, Kelvan Kearse and Daniel Parlapiano.