CMS service-learning group honors veterans
- Written by Trilla Cook
– Community leaders take part in Veteran’s Day memorial – Cutline: Kingwood High School NJROTC cadets prepare for color guard presentation at the Creekwood Service-Learning Veteran’s Day event Nov. 11. CMS teacher/Service-Learning leader Jan York, standing left, introduces student Lia Cox to Korean War veteran George H. Click. Lia read a poem written by Click, “What is a Veteran,” during the CMS Veteran’s Day event on Nov. 11. Photos by Trilla Cook If Norman Rockwell were alive today, he would most likely want to create a painting of the 2013 Veteran’s Day memorial event held Nov. 11 at the Creekwood Middle School Veterans Honor Garden. Waving flags, engaging students, uniformed color guards and several hundred earnest attendees encompass all the elements of a definitive Rockwell masterpiece. The ceremony, which served as a remembrance of military members, whose names are engraved on concrete benches in the Veterans Honor Garden, also embraced every veteran, past and present, as well as all POWs and MIAs, and included a sincere ‘thank you’ to current military service men and women. The benches in the Veterans Honor Garden are dedicated to Frank Buckles, Donald Foisie, Brandon Bury, Luke Yepsen and Mike Meeuwsen. The garden includes hundreds of bricks, purchased by community members, which are engraved with names of beloved veterans. The Creekwood Service-Learning Group honored their heroes with the CMS band, SL choir members, a poem by Korean War Veteran George H. Click, laying of the wreath, lighting of candles, and TAPS performed by CMS band director Byron Clements. Principal Walt Winicki is one of the most enthusiastic supporters of this element of the Creekwood Service-Learning Group. “There are numerous reasons why we have the Veterans Honor Garden here at Creekwood Middle,” said Winicki. “One of those reasons is to teach our students what heroes actually look like. Our 8th grade RELA classes just completed a unit on heroes. They explored questions like: What makes a hero? Why does society create heroes? What are heroic characteristics? In some respects, one can tell what society values by how it compensates people. Our society compensates those who entertain very well. At Creekwood, our Veteran’s Day service shows the type of hero we value. By making this service part of what we do each year, we show our students and our community what heroes really look like.” Speakers expounding on their connections with veterans were State Representative Dan Huberty, Humble Independent School Board president Brent Engelage, Wreaths Across America representative Scott deMasi and Caren Barnes with Blue Star Moms Houston Area Chapter. CMS art teacher Allison Gardner created artwork depicting the Veterans Honor Garden, which was presented to Bob Ligon, who had designed and constructed the Creekwood Honor Garden. The Veteran’s Honor Garden at CMS started out as the result of a Service-Learning Project, and today it stands as a community tribute to all veterans, past and present, who have served as defenders of their country. Plans for Memorial Day 2014 will include videotaping “Stories Behind the Bricks,” and the public is invited to come tell their stories. For more information on purchasing bricks to honor veterans, go to the CMS website/Veterans Honor Garden.