Every year the DECA chapter at the high school where I work puts on a Veteran's Day Assembly. It's really great. They make biscuits and gravy, kids interact with them, they invite a special speaker, the choir sings, the band plays. It's nice.
Not this year.
Okay, okay...the band was good. I'm sure the food was good. The choir sounded great. But the speaker? What were they thinking? They obviously didn't ask for a copy beforehand (which I wouldn't think they would...but maybe they will in the future).
The speaker was a veteran who teaches at a high school where our Superintendent used to work. I guess they're buds. I'm guessing that's how our speaker got the invitation.
His speech started out okay. I guess. It was all over the place though. He talked to the kids about jobs - mainly just advertising the two careers he's held: a teacher, and a member of the military. Okay...but what does that have to do with Veteran's Day? Then it got worse.
He told the kids about two students he had in the past. The first was Suzy. "Suzy is what we would've called a hippie in my day. She has red hair, piercings all over, and tattoos." (Holy crap! Lock her up!) Then he went on to say how Suzy would not stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. "Suzy works in fast food now. She has a boyfriend. She'll probably work in fast food in 10 years, and have a boyfriend; maybe the same one, maybe different." Apparently not saying the pledge leads to all sortsa horrible crap. Who knew?
The second student? He signed up to serve our wonderful country. Now he's had his education paid for and is an upstanding citizen. Be like Tyler, not like Suzy. "Suzy wanted to be her own person. Tyler is serving his country. Are you going to be like Suzy, or Tyler?"
What's wrong with being a unique individual?
Then an Army recruiter got up. His speech was short. Seriously, it was like 1 minute. He was nervous. But in this nervous speech? "If someone comes into my country and blows up buildings, I want to be able to return the favor." Uh...what? So now it's a good idea to promote revenge? Nice. Real nice.
Seriously. The entire ceremony completely missed the point of Veteran's day. I felt bad for the Veterans. They deserve better. So do my students.