By Perry Smith
Signal Managing Editor
Santa Clarita Christian School took an opportunity to honor America’s veterans at a special chapel assembly this past week.
School Administrator Greg Jones said it was part of a hands-on lesson that really resonated with the students and provided a powerful connection with a very important with respect to Veterans Day: sacrifice.
“Our desire is to connect our students to history and heroe, that’s kind of the theme we used in planning (the recognition for Veterans Day),” Jones said. “We wanted students to understand the reality of sacrifice, and for the history to come alive.”
The event featured a performance of the national anthem and “In Flanders Field” by the school’s concert choir, a guest appearance by Assemblyman Dante Acosta, who’s a big supporter of the school, and more than a dozen veterans.
“It was just a really wonderful opportunity to just recount how important, I feel, our veterans are, and to give kids a dose of patriotism and what it means and to have people who are willing to serve and commit themselves to a higher calling and a higher purpose,” Acosta said. “My speech focused on service, commitment, compassion and sacrifice.”
The program, which comes just a few days before the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, also featured a chance for the students to meet with veterans of every war from World War II to those who are in service now. Some of those who were present to meet the students Wednesday were even schoolmates at one point with the children in the crowd, Jones said.
“The goal of the day is to make sure our students have personal connections (with veterans) and to understand Veterans Day — instead of these things being pages on the history book … they’re actually able to meet veterans.”
The keynote speaker was retired Army colonel and Purple Heart recipient Johnnie Hitt.
Speaking to some of SCCS’ high school seniors, Jones noted that he could tell there the students felt a special connection with some of the younger attendees who now serve.
“For many of them, the reality that the presentation from alumni, are many of those they have actually went to school with, and are people who are serving throughout the world,” Jones said, “certainly in a manner that provides freedom and protections for us.”