Fighting for Freedom

By: Collin McPherson, Ahmani Rufat, Micah Reed, Mea Arnold, and Karra Thompson


On Nov. 9, 2023, Federal Hocking Middle School invited veterans into the school to honor them for their service. The assembly started off with the Federal Hocking Marching Lancers playing the “Star Spangled Banner.” After they played the national anthem, students played “America the Beautiful.” The band’s director, Julia Brewer, was absent at the assembly so Raen Ridgway and Luke Marcum lead the band in the playing of the songs. 

“It could have been a lot better. But at least we [the band] didn’t crash and burn,” Morella Ridgway, who plays bass clarinet for the marching band, said in response to the band’s performance. 

After the marching band concluded their performance, a few students showed how to properly fold an American flag and also gave the meanings of the folds. 

  • The first fold represents a symbol of life. 
  • The second fold means the belief in eternal life. 
  • The third fold is made to honor the veterans departing our ranks, who gave a portion of their life to protect our country. 
  • The fourth fold represents our weaker nature as humans.
  • The fifth one means to pay tribute to our country.
  • The sixth fold is where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to our flag.
  • The seventh fold represents tribute to our armed forces.
  • The eighth one means to tribute to the valley of death
  • The ninth one is a tribute to womanhood, honoring their faith, love, loyalty and devotion.
  • The tenth one is about the fathers, who give their sons and daughters. 
  • The 11th represents the lower portion of the seal of King David. 
  • The 12th fold represents the eternal life of God.
  • The 13th fold reminds us of our national motto, “In God We Trust”.

For the next part of the ceremony, Kirian Weimert’s grandfather got up and read off a speech he had prepared. He talked about why Veterans Day was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. He also talked about the reason the holiday is named Veterans Day. It was originally called Armistice day but was later changed to Veterans Day.

After the speech, a video was played in which students were asked what Veterans Day meant to them. After they showed the video, they presented a slideshow which showed pictures of Veterans that were close to students and staff members at Fed Hock. The slideshow was read by 7th grader Elsie Amlin.

Jack Sigman is a regular substitute teacher at FH Middle/High School. Not many people knew he was a veteran. He was one of the veterans who attended.

“It was an honor and a privilege to serve my country,” Sigman said. 

After the slideshow, the attending Veterans were called up to be honored. They were given a small American flag and a card. They were then lined up so students could shake their hands and thank them for their service. Patriotism was sure palpable in the halls of Fed Hock that day and students and staff were happy to deviate from the normal routines to honor them.


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