Active and retired military personnel attend celebration at the Annex
The idea for a Veteran's Day celebration started with the letters the Liverpool High School ninth grade students wrote to the men and women admitted to the Syracuse VA Medical Center.
Global history teacher Maureen Tricase, a teacher at the LHS Ninth Grade Annex, noticed an increased interest from the students as they discussed different wars and "what it meant to serve and be a veteran."
As the generation gains interest in different ways, Tricase said their viewing of the film, "Saving Private Ryan," brought up many questions about serving in the U.S. military branches.
The veteran's celebration held in the afternoon Monday Nov. 9 was in no way a longtime planned event or an annual one at that. Rather, Tricase said the kids wanted to show their appreciation and respect for the people that served and those that are still serving.
"It feels like these are the best kind of events," Tricase said. "One brought about by the kids' interest."
Tricase said she shared stories about her own father who served the U.S. Navy in World War II, and her brother who flew an F-16 during the war in Dessert Storm. She brought in war "artifacts" that belonged to her father, she said the kids had even more questions.
During the veteran's celebration, students mingled with soldiers, retired and active, who were members of the U.S. Marines, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and special assignments in the Central Intelligence Agency.
One active soldier was invited by an LHS teacher, Tim Nicholas, who told his friend it would be a "fun event."
Encouraged to attend by his friend, Army Sgt. Jacob Hedges, 24, had students gathered around him to hear about his experience as a gunner in Iraq.
Hedges grew up in Baldwinsville and lives in North Syracuse when he is on leave. While Hedges has been enlisted since 2005, he has been working on his college education at SUNY-Oswego where he is a junior studying psychology.