Honoring Veterans at the PHS Veterans Day Assembly


Bryce Phillips

JROTC performs a gun demonstration in the commons in preparation for the assembly.

On Friday, November 10th, 2022 the Veterans day assembly was hosted by the JROTC class of Prairie high school to honor veterans in the school gym. The Veterans Day assembly was special this year, as it was entirely planned and organized solely by the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or JROTC. 

With the help of Colonel Oller and Sergeant Williams, instructors for JROTC, the senior cadets of JROTC were able to plan, practice, and excel in the organization and planning of the assembly. They started preparing about two weeks into the school year, giving them enough time to meticulously plan every detail. Prairie’s JROTC planned 10 different parts for the assembly and fit all of them into a 2-hour time span.

It began with Sergeant Williams’ introduction, welcoming and thanking the students and staff of Prairie high school for attending. The Sergeant explained how the assembly was “our time to say thank you” to our veterans, as they spend their time serving to protect our country.

Throughout the Veteran’s Day assembly, a number of wartime veterans, as well as the wartime wounded and dead, were honored in several ways. A video was shown explaining what military men and women sacrifice to protect our country.

Later, an informational slideshow was presented to the audience, informing us about service veterans; their names, years of service, and the branch they served in. The slideshow included various teachers at our school including JROTC’s Colonel Oller and Sergeant Williams. Thor Borjesson, a history teacher at Prairie, and one of our security guards, Jason Johnson, were also shown in the slideshow. 

After this, the national anthem was sung by Gavin Swindell, a student here at Prairie. The gymnasium remained respectfully silent, while Tawny Eastman, a student in Prairie’s ASL (American Sign Language) club, signed the song alongside Swindell. Shortly after the anthem, the colors were posted by JROTC, and this was the first time PHS had done a 10-man color guard.

Throughout the assembly, several other respectful ceremonies were held to honor all veterans, such as folding the American flag 13 times, a set dinner table symbolizing the importance of soldiers who are prisoners of war and missing in action, and honoring the past PHS student’s who went on to serve in the military. 

The assembly ended with a drill routine, called the Raider Routine. Performed by four JROTC cadets, Issac Taylor, Aiden Lang, Andrew Sullivan, and Regan Lund to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” the drill was performed flawlessly. It took the cadets months, and endless hard work, to perfect the routine. 

JROTC’s months of planning for the Veteran’s Day Assembly paid off in the end, as it was informational and engaging for students and staff at Prairie who may not have known the extent of how much Veterans give to protect and serve our country.