Celebrating our nation's veterans is one of WCGS's most beloved traditions. During this year's 13th annual Veterans Day assembly, Wheaton Christian Grammar School welcomed 18 veterans from school families for a time of thanks and recognition to them and all our nation's veterans for their service to our country. The assembly included hearing from a student on why we celebrate Veterans Day, introductions of veterans in the WCGS community, and a presentation from school dad, Captain Michael Michaud, U.S. Army.
To begin this year's assembly, Head of School Steve Clum welcomed the students, faculty and staff, school families, and veterans to this special event. After prayer, he encouraged everyone to be thankful for our freedom because it came at a price. “We need to be intentional in our thanks when thanking Veterans for their service,” said Mr. Clum. That is part of what the Veterans Day assembly does for our students. It showcases the service of people in our community who were willing to sacrifice their lives for us.
The student body also played a large role in the assembly, with students leading the pledges to the American and Christian flags, and the WCGS Concert Band and Orchestra leading the singing of our national anthem.
After students introduced the members of their family who served our country, the veterans received a powerful standing ovation from all who attended. It was a very moving moment. The WCGS Concert Band and Orchestra followed with a performance of the Armed Forces on Parade, while the veterans stood when the song from their branch was played.
To introduce our main speaker, Captain Michael Michaud, his two sons stood up, welcoming and thanking him in front of the community. Hugs were given, and Captain Michaud started sharing his story from his time in the U.S. Army. He served from 1994-2005 at 10 different duty stations all around the world (Missouri, California, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Georgia, Germany, Kosovo/Macedonia, Germany again, and then Iraq). The topic of his speech was the amazing faith of the Centurion, based on Matthew 8:5-13.
Captain Michaud defined a centurion as a Roman soldier, an officer in rank, and then went on to answer the question, "What is a Veteran?" He started with the definition of it being someone who served in the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, or Air Force, but also described veterans as sheepdogs because they are willing to run towards chaos. They are willing to sacrifice normal lives to risk their lives for others. To conclude, Captain Michaud reminded everyone that the greatest sacrifice was when Jesus gave His life for us.
Mr. Burgess concluded the assembly with prayer and invited our veterans and their families to a reception in the commons. The event was a sweet reminder that the freedoms we have are not actually free. It was a blessing to be able to recognize some of the men and women who have served our country. One veteran grandparent even mentioned that this was the highlight of his life!
Let's always remember to thank those who serve or have served our country because we never know how much it will mean to them.