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Midland Valley honors those who served with Veterans Day program

Aiken Standard - 11/14/2022

Nov. 14—Honoring those who have and are currently serving in the military was the message at Midland Valley High School on Monday.

The school had originally scheduled the Veterans Day program for Friday, but the event was pushed back to Monday because schools switched to virtual learning because of bad weather.

The event included music, the playing of "Taps," the history of Veterans Day and recognizing former students and current school staff who have served in the military.

Veterans Day is always observed on Nov. 11 because on that date in 1918 World War I ended.

Combat veteran Shawn Laurie spoke to students about his experiences in war and the post-traumatic stress that comes with it. Laurie said he joined the military after 9/11, and he became choked up Monday while sharing his story.

"I know some of you are children and don't remember 9/11, but for me it was very hard," he said. "I am having a lot of emotion right now."

Laurie said even with all the stuff veterans have been through, it's still important to recognize those who served.

"I am proud to be an American and I am proud to be a veteran," he said.

Midland Valley English teacher Amber Rahman said one thing she hoped students would learn from the ceremony was for them to honor and respect veterans.

"It affected a lot of people and it motivated people to go into the armed forces and serve their county," Midland Valley senior Makayla Shederick said.

"I was excited for the program because I like when the school gets involved with the community," Kaetlyn Johnson said.

Johnson said she thinks the school should have more programs to honor those who don't get enough recognition.

"With him speaking, it kind of showed that he was human," Johnson said. "We can kind of see veterans as kind of stone-cold; they did all this stuff and you don't realize how they were people, too."

Alahni Wolford said Laurie's talk about 9/11 and his experiences hit home for her because her dad was deployed after 9/11 and she could relate.

Wolford said she hopes her fellow classmates will learn how to appreciate veterans because they give so much while serving the country.

"I hope people will learn to thank more people for their service," she said.


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