Hartford Public Schools Honors All Who Serve

Hartford Public Schools Honors All Who Serve

Why do we celebrate Veterans Day?  Before World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, the countries involved agreed to a cease-fire, or armistice, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. With all sides in agreement to stop fighting at this time, November 11, 1918, or Armistice Day, became known as the end of ‘the war to end all wars.’  In 1938, the United States Congress passed legislation making November 11, or Armistice Day, an annual legal holiday to commemorate world peace and honor the veterans of World War I.

However, in the years after the passage of this legislation, the United States fought in two more wars, World War II and the Korean War.  In 1954, at the request of many veterans’ service organizations, Congress changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Day was not always observed on the actual day until 1975 when President Gerald R. Ford signed into law that the annual observance of Veterans Day be returned to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. Since then the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11 to honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country.

Every year the Veterans Day National Ceremony takes place at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. with the laying of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns.  The Tomb of the Unknowns is the final resting place for three unknown soldiers from World War I, World War II and the Korean War.  Since 1948 the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, also known as “The Old Guard”, has guarded the Tomb for twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather.

An interview from a veteran in our Hartford Public Schools community, Richard Hurey, a Behavior Technician at Parkville Community School — where a Veterans Day ceremony takes place on Monday, November 11th.

HPS:  What was your experience in the military?  What branch were you in?  What years?  What rank?  Where were you stationed?

Richard Hurey:   I joined the military in August 15, 2000; the end of my sophomore year in college. I joined the Army Reserves as a Private First Class. I was apart of the 439th QuarterMaster Co. in New Haven, CT. I was called up to active duty in December 2002 to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I spent 14months in Iraq as a Petroleum Supply Sargeant.

HPS:  What was the impact of the military on your life?  Did it help you in your education?  Your career?  Did it help you to mature?

RH:  The military afforded me the opportunity to complete college. I had completed 2 years of school and my financial income was challenged. I saw the military as a easy fix and decided to join. Upon completion of my basic training and advanced individual training the military paid for my remaining to years of school.

HPS:  Are you still in the military?

RH:   I am no longer in the military. My contract ended August 15, 2008.

HPS:  How does the military help the people of the United States?

RH:  As part of the military it was my honor and duty to serve, protect and defend this great nation.

 

We also interviewed Barbara Stewart, SSO at Parkville School.

HPS:  What was your experience in the military?  What branch were you in?  What years?  What rank?  Where were you stationed?

Barbara Stewart:  [I] enjoyed the military and got to see many places and cultures, met awesome friends for life and went outside the circle of my world. I was in the Navy/Army Reserve for 12 years of service to military. (7yrs active duty /5yrs reservist). E-5 was my last rank before leaving the military.  I was stationed in Iceland, Spain, Maine, california, Mississippi, and Florida.
 
HPS:  Did you see any combat?  If so, do you have a story you would like to re-tell?
 
Barbara Stewart:  No, I did not see combat. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA where most of active duty members and reservist were  deployed from. Camp Pendleton was one of the 1st stations involved due to bomb that was planted at base and went off injuring Military personnel at Main gate Check-in. I was there for start Of Desert Storm and the end Of Desert Shield. I assisted with Pay and Travel distribution, and made sure everyone received correct pay rations.
 
HPS:  What was the impact of the military on your life? Did it help you in your education?  Your career?  Did it help you to mature?

Barbara Stewart:  The military gave me a sense of direction and helped me decide what I wanted and what I did not like.  It allowed me to follow different directions of interest, and gave me a chance to see the world from different points of view.  It taught me order and great discipline. It helped pay for courses that would help me after the military along with advancement within my rank.  It showed me that education is a big stepping stone to success. It let me see that every action has an equal and different reaction. I was very mature when I went in, but the military did help me to get grounded. It gave me insight to people and the world around me.
 
HPS:  Are you still in the military?

Barbara Stewart:  No
 
HPS: How does the military help the people of the United States?

Barbara Stewart:  It allows them to buy homes, pay for school, and see the world outside of their everyday lives. It helps keep our homeland safe.  It gives almost every walk of life a chance to serve their country.

 

A Message about Veterans Day from Dr. Kishimoto:

Veterans Day, Monday, November 11th, is a time to remember and pay tribute to the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have answered the call of duty to defend our nation and way of life, often at the greatest personal sacrifice.

I would like to express my deepest thanks for the veterans who served our country with great honor in the past, and to those who uphold their duties today. Each and every one of them is an inspiration to America.

Encourage your children and grandchildren to reach out to veterans at this time in their family, church, or community to thank them for their service. 

It is a small but meaningful gesture that shows appreciation to the living heroes in their lives and will embed in their young minds respect for those who sacrifice selflessly.

Whether they live in honor among us, or gave their lives in battle, America’s veterans have earned our eternal gratitude. 

 

Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto, Superintendent,

Hartford Public Schools

 

 

 

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