Students taking major roles in upcoming Holmes Veterans’ Day assembly

After a two year break from the Veterans’ Day assembly, planning has started at Holmes Junior High for the assembly that will be taking place on Friday, Nov. 11.

Students who are taking honors U.S. history 9 are writing and presenting speaking parts. “Mr. Jones has asked the ninth grade honors U.S. history students to help create and then present some of the pieces for the assembly. These pieces may include a short history about the holiday, some presidential quotes or speeches surrounding Veterans’ Day, or even some poems, stories of heroism or letters written home that some soldiers have done in previous wars,” Holmes history teacher Kevin Kuker said.

The band and choir will also be performing during the assembly. “The eighth and ninth grade bands from Holmes will be performing a piece from their fall concert called Escape from the Deep by Brian Balmages. It is a piece that in the composer’s words is a ‘remembrance that there is still hope in the midst of tragedy. The work contains excerpts from America in various forms with energy and excitement as well as tempered with moments of silence and solitude. I felt this piece would be a great way to honor the many veterans and their families that we have in our community,” Holmes band director Laura Engelhardt said.

During the assembly, the band and choir performances will be inserted between speaking parts. “The pieces largely serve as the content of the assembly, which is also nicely tied around the musical numbers that are performed during the assembly from the Holmes choir, band and/or orchestra as well as the recognition of the veterans in attendance that day,” Kuker said. 

Veterans’ Day assemblies in the past have included speeches from veterans, but for the past five years, the assembly has mainly had student involvement. “Largely we wanted students to be the main presenters for the assembly.  In the distant past, we’ve had former veterans speak during the assembly.  Those events had a very strong impact on our students, but seeing the students lead the assembly and also showcase a strong degree of thanks and recognition toward the veterans definitely helps to acknowledge the sacrifices they’ve made as well,” Kuker said.

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