Grayslake Central celebrates Veterans Day


Veterans day assembly on November 11th, photo credit to Nina Cavender

Griffin Ryckman, Staff Reporter

On November 11, Grayslake Central High School celebrated Veterans Day with an assembly celebrating all the veterans in the Grayslake area. Roughly 50 veterans attended the assembly this year, which compared to the past couple of years, is low due to COVID precautions amongst other reasons. With fewer veterans attending, it’s important to celebrate every person that has made the sacrifice to serve this great country, especially with increased negativity surrounding both veterans and the military in recent history.

The celebration started with the National Anthem, performed by GCHS’ very own band and choir, followed by a speech from Principal Dan Landry, and guest speaker Master Chief Mike Magnetta. Magnetta enlisted in the United States Navy when he was only 17 years old and went on to serve for 31 years until 2017,when he retired as command master chief. During his time he participated in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  Magnetta also took part in dozens of humanitarian missions to help support people and countries in times of need, participated in multiple tours as a Recruit Division Commander, developing men and women into skilled sailors at Lake County’s very own Great Lakes Naval Station.

“It’s always important to highlight what [veterans] do for us on a daily basis,” according to Social Studies Department Chair Jason Janczak.“There’s a lot of negativity about what veterans do and it’s important to honor what’s right.” With today’s current political climate it is so important to take a look and appreciate the good things that they do for us.

“While this is the first time in decades that we have not had an American soldier in an active combat zone, it is important to learn and understand our history,” according to Dustin Chierico. “It’s important for us to remember the history behind Veteran’s Day, to acknowledge what they have done and to celebrate.”

“When the keynote speaker taught us the verbal greetings of the different branches of service, it was interesting, and I could really feel the pride the veterans had for their military branch,” according to Dustin Chierico.  “It’s important to not only learn who served but also learn their traditions and customs and the history behind them. It shows the pride and courage behind what they do.” Janczak was proud of the GCHS student body when veterans were celebrated with a “standing ovation from the students,” said Janczak. It was especially important according to the history teacher “just because your generation seems to be unappreciative nowadays.”