NHS Prepares For The Return of Oakdale’s Veterans Day Ceremony Amongst Covid 19 Pandemic


Kaitlyn Valle

Veterans are recognized for their hard work at Oakdale High Schools annual Veterans day ceremony.

Kaitlyn Valle, Writer

On November 9th, Oakdale High School hosted their annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Prior to National Honors Society (NHS) organizing this event with Dr. Ed Schoder, Ms.Colleen Bernard (Supervisor for Social Studies, former department chair) and former Oakdale student and marine Lieutenant Kevin Heine (Ms. Heine’s brother) started the ceremony as a leadership project.

This ceremony is held to honor Veterans in the community including parents and grandparents of Oakdale students and Oakdale faculty members. Keynote speaker to the ceremony, Retired Brigadier General and President of Mount St Mary’s, Dr. Tim Trainor delivered a speech. Dr. Trainor’s speech encouraged students to serve, even if it wasn’t in uniform but to make a difference in their community.. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, so Dr.Trainor included a history of this.

Along with the speech, the ceremony includes a history of Veterans Day, music, and recognition of the Veterans in the audience. The ceremony was followed by a luncheon held for the Veterans.

Before the ceremony, Veterans came around to classes talking about their experience serving, with the goal of educating students and to find a greater appreciation for Veterans and those who are currently serving. Schoder expressed he is also hopeful that this will inspire Oakdale students to “appreciate our Veterans, to perhaps be willing to serve.”

Schoder goes on to say, “We do rely on people who are willing to serve.”

Hannah Lebo, Senior and president of the NHS chapter, points out that there is no stereotype for those wanting to serve: “It takes all kinds of people and bravery to be in one of the military branches. I want people to learn that it doesn’t have to be a stereotypical military person; anyone can be in the military.”

Planning this ceremony came with a lot of challenges. One included the food provided at the luncheon, which is held after the ceremony. Schoder has been challenged with the task of finding sponsors.

The other interesting change is certain grocery stores have done away with staples of the catering line, so it’s forced me to rethink some of the dining options.”

— Dr. Edward Schoder

Schoder mentions, “The other interesting change is certain grocery stores have done away with staples of the catering line, so it’s forced me to rethink some of the dining options.”

Lebo similarly expressed the obstacles faced regarding food sharing: “Stuff with the food has been challenging. In previous years we’ve been able to order from one grocery store pre-packaged, so we’ve been able to have people take subs and go. But because of Covid they’ve stopped doing that. So we’ve kinda had to change how we get food.”

After not being able to host this event due to Covid 19 last year, concerns still arise with the spread of Covid. Lebo ensured that they will be taking precautions to limit the spread: “When we make the sandwiches we’re gonna wear gloves, washing hands, if you touch anything switch your gloves out; so everything we’re doing we are taking into consideration everybody’s comfortability.”

Overall, NHS has been working tirelessly to create a successful 2021 Veterans Day Ceremony despite the adversity they faced amongst the ongoing pandemic.