- Photo one: Reid Freeman, United States Naval Academy, MBHS Class of 2020, The Sword & Shield Alumni
- Photo two: Baynes Autrey, United States Naval Academy, MBHS Class of 2019
- Photo three: Thomas Graham, United States Naval Academy, MBHS Class of 2018
- Photo four: Holli Chapman, United States Military Academy at West Point, MBHS Class of 2018
- Photo five: Duncan Morris, United States Naval Academy, MBHS Class of 2017
- Photo six: Stav Pappas, United States Military Academy at West Point, MBHS Class of 2017
By HANNAH HITSON, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Veterans Day can all too commonly be viewed by students as an excuse to have a day off of school, but the holiday and its honorees deserve profuse appreciation.
Special to Birmingham, the term Veterans Day was coined in 1947 when a World War II veteran by the name of Raymond Weeks organized a parade and festival to honor our veterans in Birmingham. Following this, a U.S. representative from Kansas proposed a bill to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day, and in 1954 Congress passed the bill. President Eisenhower signed the bill and announced November 11th as Veterans Day.
America was birthed by brave men and women who believed our nation could be extraordinary and were willing to give their lives in exchange for the prosperity of the United States. American independence set the precedent for strong nationalism throughout the hardships and conflicts our nation would face over the following 244 years.
America is known for its firm patriotism centered around our respected past and present members of the military. So as we all celebrate the day off from school, take time to reflect on the true meaning and purpose of the holiday. Be sure to express your gratitude to the men and women who fight for our country and pay your respects to those who gave their lives.
On behalf of the entire Sword & Shield staff, we thank all of those who have served our country and a special thanks to the many MBHS graduates who have continued their education at the United States Military Academies. Notably, we commend former The Sword & Shield writer Reid Freeman for his service at the United States Naval Academy.