Topeka High School’s Marine Corps JROTC held a ceremony at the school on Thursday, November 7th to recognize veterans in the Topeka community. The event, in honor of Veterans Day, also paid tribute to those currently serving, those who will serve in the future, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Cadets recognized local veterans in attendance by announcing their name and branch of military.
The JROTC cadets spoke about the history of the holiday, once called Armistice Day and observed in October, and how it became known as the federal holiday we now call Veterans Day. They also showed images of wars the U.S. has fought in. One image displayed was that of an American flag-draped casket coming home to the U.S. The cadets then recreated that image by carrying a similar casket across the auditorium stage and presenting a folded American flag to honor veterans who have died in combat.
Chief Warrant Officer Curtis “Gunner” Kelly was proud of the cadets’ performance in the ceremony because of the “reverence and emotion” they were able to display. Kelly also encouraged everyone to thank a veteran for their service to our country, “because they are why we speak the language that we speak and have the freedom to cross the borders and the boundaries that we do.”