When Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” almost 200 years ago, just over 20 miles from Indian Creek School at Ft. McHenry, he called America “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Those words are as true today as they were then.
Throughout our Nation’s history, America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coast guardsmen have bravely answered the call to defend our freedom and to help our allies. We can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to the more than 650,000 American service members who died in battle nor the 1.4 million who were wounded. We can, however, recognize and thank the 25 million veterans who are still with us today.
Indian Creek students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to thank over 35 service members in a Veterans Day Assembly on Friday, November 9. The assembly began with the Parading of the Colors, led by third grade teacher and Army Veteran John Argilan, and students Kat Rini ’25 and Alex Miller ’25. Next, Lower School Student Government President Palmer Bice ’25 led the Pledge of Allegiance. A poignant moment in the assembly came when the fifth and sixth grade chorus sang the “Armed Forces Medly,” and service members were invited to raise their hands or stand and sing along when their branch of the military was represented.
Next, two Indian Creek students Jake Berry ’25and Phoebe Alexander ’27 spoke about what it is like to be a military child. Phoebe shared, “Being a military child is being brave. It is hard to leave your friends when your family has to move…Military children also have to be brave when their moms or dads leave on deployment. I am proud of my mom, dad, and brother for all that we do as a military family. We are proud of our veterans who sacrifice their lives for our country.” The assembly closed with the entire audience singing “America the Beautiful” together.
Besides giving the Indian Creek community an opportunity to thank our veterans, the assembly provided another way for Creek families to connect. Third and seventh grade parent and veteran David Christie shared why the assembly was valuable to him. “During this morning's assembly I made several new connections with Indian Creek families because the veterans in the ICS community were given the opportunity to see one another in context. No matter the color of the uniform, the century served in, whether we were a war-fighter, doctor, or intelligence officer, we all took “The Oath” and that makes us sisters and brothers for life. I’m proud to be in the company of so many veterans and proud that my family is a part of the ICS community.”
It is a privilege to say ‘thank you’ to all of America’s veterans, to let them know that we appreciate them for their service and honor them for their sacrifices. Indian Creek’s Veterans Day Assembly gave our community the opportunity to thank service members near and dear to us for keeping our nation “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”