NC celebrates honored veterans


Amber Roldan

NC culinary, chorus, orchestra, JROTC, and ASL students joined forces on Thursday morning to honor local servicemen and women in the observance of Veterans Day. The collaboration from these students paid off and provided local veterans with an honorable service genuinely thanking them for upholding America’s freedom.

Amber Roldan, Editor-In-Chief

Across the nation, Nov 11 serves as a significant date for heroes: Veterans Day. NC celebrated this important date by opening the Performing Arts Center doors and welcoming veterans across the community. The pleasant aroma of freshly brewed coffee and delicious breakfast food greeted veterans who accepted the Warrior’s invitation as they walked through the PAC’s doors.

NC’s talented culinary students took the time out of their schedules to prepare breakfast for the veterans. In addition to cooking all of the food, students stood behind the breakfast buffet serving each veteran with a smile. The students who volunteered radiated positivity and gratitude while cheerfully chatting with each honored guest as they made their way through the breakfast line. 

“My alarm went off at 4 o’clock this morning and I arrived at school at 5 am to prepare breakfast for the veterans. All of the culinary students who participated volunteered to wake up early and cook; it was a way for us to thank the veterans for their service,” senior culinary student Satang Jow said.

Veterans, teachers, and administrators enjoyed breakfast as they dined in the PAC lobby amongst the beautifully decorated tables adorned with miniature American flags. Of the numerous tables displayed, one stood out. The small round table dressed in a white linen displayed a single red rose and a lit candle. A folded chair propped up against the table signifying and honoring the fallen veterans who never returned home.

As breakfast ended, the veterans left the PAC with full stomachs and headed to the front of the school where they partook in a wreathing ceremony. The front of the school displays a plaque listing the names of all NC graduates who made the ultimate sacrifice and unfortunately passed while in service. Adjacent to this plaque lays a large, decorated bulletin board dedicated to NC faculty members who previously served. Numerous featured teachers accepted the invitation to participate in the ceremony Thursday morning. 

After the conclusion of the wreathing ceremony, the honored veterans made their way back to the theater where the remainder of the service occurred. Before the veteran’s arrival, students and teachers filled the seats of the auditorium to recognize and respect the honored veterans. After the ensemble of veterans made their way to their reserved seats in the front row of the auditorium, NC’s JROTC students presented the colors of the United States as the Women’s Chorus and American Sign Language students performed the National Anthem. Succeeding the song, Principal Matthew Moody personally welcomed everyone to the event and thanked the service men and women for their honorable service. 

“Today we come to celebrate, recognize, and honor our teachers, family, and community members who served. I am so excited that our students get to learn more about what Veterans Day is really about,” Principal Moody said in his welcoming speech.

Following Moody’s welcome, NC JROTC Lieutenant and Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling took the stage to welcome the event’s esteemed guest speaker: Retired Air Force Colonel and Kennesaw Assistant City Manager, Marty Hughes. Hughes started his speech by asking students a simple yes or no question: “Did you make your bed this morning?” Hughes quickly turned this hypothetical question into an extended metaphor where he emphasized the importance of perseverance and success through failure. With an impressive background in the Air Force and the realm of higher education, Hughes’ intelligence and passion shone through his speech as he shared inspiring words with NC’s community.

After Hughes’ inspirational message came to an end, NC’s talented Orchestra and Chorus students gifted all in attendance with a beautiful medley of patriotic tunes. After the heartfelt musical performances, the distinguished ceremony came to a close with a bell ceremony that recognized each fallen NC graduate who passed while serving. As Lieutenant Easterling shared his final words, he expressed his gratitude for all of the teachers and students who contributed to the success of Thursday’s event. After sharing a final thanks with all the veterans, Easterling asked students to rise in silence as the service men and women filed out of the auditorium. 

NC’s annual Veteran’s Day service unites students and veterans alike, allowing the community to revel in the sacrifice serving one’s country entails. The tradition upholds the true meaning behind Veterans Day while emphasizing the importance of celebrating and recognizing veterans year-round.

“When you see a veteran next, please thank them for their service, courage, and for our freedom. Thank them for doing their part to preserve this great nation that we call the United States of America,” Hughes said.