Thank You, Veterans!

by Emily Dottle and Angelina Melillo

Today, Shenango High School honors veterans throughout our community with a student-led program organized by Mr. Cooper’s Advanced Placement Government students. 

Veterans hold the utmost respect in the hearts of Wildcats.  “Our veterans have sacrificed so much in their lives to protect us,” senior Josh Bruce stressed.  “It is our turn to respect and honor them.”

“We should always be reminded that freedom isn’t free,” added Riley Bruce.  

To prepare for today’s assembly, Cooper’s senior students invested hours of time to ensure that the program would serve as a way to show veterans our sincere appreciation. “We put together an assembly that consisted of speeches, music, and videos,” Emma Callahan said. “We put out flags in front of the school.” 

Angelina Melillo added, “We found sentimental, heart-touching videos for the students and our veterans to view during the assembly. We asked the Chamber Singers to be a part of our program and sing.  We asked alumni Vincent Melillo to play the bagpipes to add meaningful music for our veterans to our program. We decorated the showcase in the main lobby as well.” 

AP students reaped the benefits of their hard work as they reflected deeply on how the preparation for the assembly impacted them. Jason Domenick said. “I enjoyed being able to write a letter that thanked all the veterans for their service.” 

Cole Sickafuse showed his gratitude towards our veterans by playing TAPS on the trumpet during the assembly. “ I always enjoy playing music.  In my opinion, it just feels good being able to express the respect that I [have] for these heroes and this country,” Cole expressed.  

Cooper’s students’ greatest wish is that the pride they’ve taken in showing our school’s gratitude for veterans will be felt by the entire student body. Hannah Yeykal stated, “I [wish that students] are able to see that it was not an easy journey for the United States to become the nation it is today.” 

Likewise, Rhiannon Boone hopes, “[Students] realize how thankful they truly should be.” She feels that while “it is easy to say you are thankful and respect your veterans, you have to truly exemplify it.”

To our veterans, we say,

“Thank you for your sacrifices.  It’s truly an honor to sacrifice your life and time to those you don’t know but care for keeping safe. Veterans are truly heroes.”- Thomas Presnar

“Thank you for everything you sacrificed for our freedom. Without you, everything I have been able to accomplish and enjoy would not exist.” – Rhiannon Boone

“Thank you for being willing to do what so many other people are afraid of.” – Hannah Yeykal

“Thank you for everything you have done for me. I appreciate you and recognize you.” -Riley Bruce

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