by Paul Attema
Over 75% of the student body at PC has a relative who has served or who is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. On Saturday, November 11, the entire country will be given the opportunity to honor those who have defended our nation. Some students celebrate by having a meal with family members, while others visit the graves of loved ones.
“My Grandpa was in the army during the Korean war,” said senior Jakob Van Vark. “We celebrate Veteran’s day by going to his grave, putting flowers on his grave and just remembering his years with my grandma, my mom, and her sister. It’s important to do this so we can remember the good times that they had with him, and to remember those who fought for our country.”
As students enjoy their freedom in the United States, members of the military travel across the world. Relatives of PC students have fought in Europe and Japan during WWII, in the Korean War, and travelled to the UK, Germany, and Mexico. Some are currently serving in the Middle East. “Two of my brothers are overseas right now in Kuwait and Jordan,” said freshman Alea Heath. “They aren’t really allowed to tell us much, but they love it. They talk about how they hear a lot of Arabic and see a lot of camels. They mainly like getting sent Pringles, beef jerky, and candy.”
Other veterans talk about how hard military training is. From the loss of hearing during Sapper (combat engineer) training to extreme mental and physical exhaustion, members of the military face struggles, even if they aren’t assigned to a combat position. “It is really difficult to go through training,” said sophomore Annaliese Admiraal. “My cousin has been given the honor of winning many awards for gun building and other military based competitions. It’s hard for him because he’s very busy, and he never knows when he will be called to go on duty.”
No matter where somebody served, they contributed and sacrificed something for the homeland. Veteran’s day gives us an opportunity to show appreciation to those who have served and those who are still active-duty. “We can never be too appreciative of our veterans because of their sacrifice,” said sophomore Tate Osborn. “Veteran’s day gives us a day to be very intentional about our appreciation.”
Veterans and active-duty service members are invited to a Veteran’s Day chapel in Vermeer Auditorium on Friday, November 10. Two veterans, Pastor Brad Bierma from Calvary CRC and Jason Clendenden, will be speaking.