Learning instead of Celebrating

Should we be off on Veterans Day?

Camilla Sauer, Staff Writer

In November of 1918, troops were ordered to cease fire on the western front of Europe. It was during the 11th month, on the 11th day, of the 11th hour. This agreement created the day of Amnesty, which was the first step to ending World War I. November 11th is now well known as Veterans Day. Some argue this is the most important American holiday, right next to July 4th, the day America declared independence.

We now use this day to honor those who have served in our military. Arguably a very special day to show respect and patriotism. But many McDowell students are asking “if it’s so important, why are we sitting at a desk right now?”

Even though it has importance, McDowell High School (as well as the rest of Millcreek schools) still have to go to school while most of the country has off to celebrate. So this brings the question, should it be a standard to have the day off to celebrate?

Across the country, businesses, banks and schools are closing their doors to let American citizens celebrate the holiday with their friends and family members. Government run agencies that are nonessential parts to running the country like post offices, will be closed with the exception of FedEx and UPS.

Majority of U.S. school systems are closed, but some are still open, our high school being one of them. This has caused some uproar in the continuous argument on whether we should be off for the national holiday.

Our school does some services to allow us to give our tribute to the lives that were lost and lives that have served. Such as the ninth grade Veterans Day assembly or classes like ROTC that teach many students about military practices and quota, and more. But many students still would rather celebrate with their family member(s) that have served our nation than be in school.

Being out of school on Veterans Day can allow us to enjoy time with elders that have served. Many students here at McDowell have parents that have fought overseas in the Middle East or grandparents that survived Vietnam or World War 2.

We should be spending as much time as we can listening to their stories and what they have gone through to be walking and breathing today because someday they’ll be gone. We even have two veterans on staff working here in the McDowell Intermediate High school, both ROTC instructors.

McDowell (and the Millcreek School District in general) have always had students go to school on Veterans Day with little acknowledgement of the importance of the day. Learning about the history and deeper meaning behind Veterans Day is not taught to us until the end of middle school. Knowing more about the day in general can bring more enthusiasm and respect for those who’ve served. Being able to spend the day with the ones we know who have honored our country should be a necessity.