Veterans Day, Nov. 10, 2020
Honoring All Who Serve
On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, the Merrimack School District honored veterans with a virtual Veterans Day assembly, sponsored by the Remote Education Academy for Learning (REAL). While we wish that we could have honored veterans in person, we understand that it was not possible this school year. However, we did not want Veterans Day to pass, without doing what we could, to thank veterans. We know however challenging, these days are for us, service men and women have been putting themselves in harms way, since our country was founded.
We were pleased, to have with us, on video, Matthew Harper, Merrimack graduate, and Navy Corpsman. Also, on video was Mr. Jack Lytle, twenty-year U. S. Marine Veteran, and father of sixth grader, Cooper Lytle. Joining us, live, on zoom, was Mr. Eric Leonard, Marine veteran, multiple Purple Heart recipient, and father, of second grader, Emma Szekely. They were our guest speakers. In addition, 7th Grader Evan McCarthy played on his alto sax, both the National Anthem and America, the Beautiful.
Matthew Harper, Merrimack graduate recorded a short video, where he shared about his present service as Navy nurse caring for both veterans and active duty service people. United States Marine veteran Jack Lytle provided a video explaining to all suggestions of what they could do to honor and thank veterans. The assembly’s keynote speaker was United States Marine veteran, and two-time, Purple Heart recipient, Eric Leader. Mr. Leader spoke with students about how, due to being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, his military career was cut short. He continues to serve fellow veterans as a clinical social worker at the Manchester Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.
Closing words of William Morris, Coordinator of the REAL Program included the following:
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, on October 26, 1963, that “A nation reveals itself, not only by the men, and I would add, the women, it produces, but also, by the men and women, it honors, the men and women it remembers. Boys and Girls, today, we have taken time, to honor and remember, men and women, who are our country’s real heroes.
As we end today’s program, I hope, that you will always remember, that Freedom isn’t Free, and you will think, about our veterans, who have paid for our freedom, with their time, their health, and their hearts. To all Veterans joining us remotely today, know that you are appreciated, respected, and remembered by the Merrimack Schools and the Merrimack community.
The event concluded with a slide show of photos and names of veterans who are loved ones of remote students and staff. Thank you to Mrs. Nancy Rose for assisting with technology and Mr. Adam Goodman for turning the PowerPoint into a video. As well as, Ms. Bunny Saranita for preparing Evan with his music.