Thursday, November 11th, 2021 marked the first Veterans Day for every student at AHS where the US Military was not at war.  For most students without family serving active duty, the day seemed routine. For student council members, they made poppies out of pipe cleaners for teachers with family who are or were enlisted. For students with parents who were discharged or not in active duty,  small plans included going out for dinner. For Mrs. Dwulit, it was personal, as she served in the US Army in the 2000’s before entering education.

Instead of a brief announcement and pledge of allegiance recitation from Athletic and Attendance Secretary Mrs. Cahill, Mrs. Dwulit addressed the school before leading the pledge:

Good morning, Lopes. I appreciate a few minutes of your time for recognition of today, November 11th. Veterans Day is a day of honor, gratitude, and perspective.  We are here, we are fortunate.  And each of us is worth being fought for…our freedoms, our voices, and our humanity.  The choice to serve our nation requires courage and sacrifice…and each then, a story to tell.    Today I ask you to think of the story you want to write.  What impact will you make?  It is Native American Heritage Month and I often think of the cultural care taken to honor stories woven as history…it is brilliant and colorful.   Will your story be filled with integrity, beauty, strength, adventure, and a life full of helping others….or will you fall to immaturity and destructive actions?  Learn from people you like, and even more from those that you don’t.

You are worth a grand story.  I challenge you to write one.   Thank you for the support and respect you have always shown to me.  Today, recognize our veterans, but also yourself and the opportunities that lie ahead.  Dig in and accomplish your goals.  And don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.  Now, rise and please join me for the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Biology teacher Mrs. Selep has a son currently serving as an Army Ranger. She had students leave messages of thanks for Mrs. Dwulit on one side of a star and the other side was a small personal note of gratitude for Mrs. Dwulit as the principal of the school.  The Bucket was given as a surprise to Mrs. Dwulit this morning.

The experience of peace time caught most students interviewed today by surprise, but overall the viewpoint leaned more optimistically about US troops not being involved in an active war.

“I didn’t know that {fact about US warfare}, but I hope it stays that way. I would say that it is a good thing,”  said Chris Cicero, Senior

“It’s good that they got out, but it’s not that good that thirteen people lost their lives in Afghanistan because of the terrorist attack,” said Sam Zahn, Freshman
“It’s kind of happy considering that our veterans get a rest. They still have to train, but they aren’t in war fighting for our country,”  said Billy Onyshko, Freshman.
“A little bit kind of depressing, it makes me feel like our conflict resolving skills are not where they should be,” said Emma Noss, Freshman
While the US government through President Biden has declared the military uninvolved in war since September 2021, other historians and public figures emphasize this is a matter of wording. US troops remain stationed in countries where there are active conflicts.

Please see the Wiki and the updated interactive map from The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project below.

2 Replies to “2021 Veterans Day: The First Day in 20 Years Where US Military States It Is Not At War”

  1. I love this article! It really puts things in perspective and makes me remember what other people and their families are going through. This has also been very informative. I learned things I would never have learned otherwise. Very well written!

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