As Veteran’s Day commemoration approaches, four students at East Middle School in Farmington Hills have been chosen to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The ceremony will be held Monday, November 7th, at Arlington National Cemetery. The students, selected for their essays on the Tomb of the Unknowns, will participate in the ceremony as their classmates visit the site, as part of a trip to the nation’s capitol. They will participate with the military guards at the tomb.
Selected students wrote on a brief history of the Tomb of the Unknowns, along with the role of the military guards at the Tomb, and why they would be a good candidate to participate in the wreath laying ceremony.
Melissa Korte, 13, and an East 8th grader, comes from a family history of service to country. She wrote about their service and what it means. In part, her essay reads: “My family has a history of fighting for America’s liberty. My great-grandfather, who is now buried in Long Island National Cemetery, was an army sergeant in World War I, and fought in the Battle of the Argonne Forest. My grandfather, now 89 years of age, was a soldier in World War II, serving in the Battle of the Philippines and was in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. While in the Philippines, his unit helped release prisoners of war from a Japanese prison camp at Santo Tomas University in the capitol, Manila. He also served at New Guinea and was in the Occupation of Japan after the war. His brothers, my great-uncles, also served in World War II, one aboard a U.S. Navy minesweeper, clearing under-water explosive mines meant to destroy our ships, while the other was a survivor of the D-Day Invasion. A great cousin was an Army Colonel, in Europe.
From the war stories my grandfather has told me, I think it would be the highest privilege to honor those who were lost, those who are unknown, who fought a war so that America might always be free. For me, it is the ultimate privilege to be an American and live in freedom. We must remember these fallen heroes are our fallen heroes. We must always remember those who died to save our country. We must acknowledge that these heroes risked everything to protect and defend democracy. They deserve our everlasting respect, and gratitude. As one whom the heritage of their valor has been passed on to, I would be very proud to honor them for their service to the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The Examiner will follow the students during their trip to Washington, and report further upon their return home.