Is Central unpatriotic?


Matt Stockmal

Andrew Coyner, junior, looks at the flags in front of the school on Nov. 11 to honor Veterans Day.

As a school, we don’t celebrate Veteran’s Day enough or give it the respect it deserves. That is the opinion of a sizable group of Hinsdale Central students and an opinion that I agree with. As a school, Hinsdale Central magnifies holidays like Columbus Day, Memorial Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day with days off of school and parades. However, Veteran’s Day is given none of this treatment. I am not saying that Veteran’s Day should be a day off. In fact, I disagree with that statement entirely. Instead, I feel that the school should give it a greater importance in terms of learning.

The fact is, for this year’s Veterans Day, the PTO and school brought in a speaker, Dr. Ginsberg, who said nothing about the importance of the day or of patriotism and duty to the country, but instead spoke of the importance of alleviating stress and helping students have greater success in school. Now, while I agreed completely with the speaker’s message, I felt as though it was out of touch with the day we were supposed to be celebrating. This is not to knock Dr. Ginsberg or the PTO, because the message of his speech and the assembly were extremely beneficial to students, but the fact that it was scheduled on what is supposed to be a day of remembrance is confusing and out of touch with the goals of the holiday. Neighboring school districts have done a magnificent job of bringing in speakers and veterans to help students learn as much as they can and unfortunately Hinsdale Central is lagging behind.

Veteran’s Day is supposed to be a day of remembrance for the sacrifices of all soldiers in the US military. Our veterans have great messages that all students should learn about patriotism and duty, and unfortunately these messages are not being passed along. And while I appreciate that the Dawgs Club hosts a Veterans Day presentation at the flag pole the morning of, it begins at 7:30 a.m. and many students may not even be at the building by that point.

The district should try harder to help bring this sense of duty and patriotism to its students. In past years, the country as a whole has put veterans in the rearview mirror at times, and it is hurting people who would benefit from the knowledge that those veterans possess. The school has a wonderful opportunity on Veteran’s Day to celebrate our nation’s heroes because school is held on this day, and I believe that it would benefit the entire student body in the future to bring in speakers who can impart messages of defending the country and the ideals that this country is made of on to the students.