SHS Celebrates Memorial Day with Annual Ceremony

Toshiana Keating, Features Editor

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On Wednesday, May 22, Stamford High School honored those who have died in service by holding its annual memorial day assembly. The event was organized by teacher Doug Maclehose for the past 11 years. For most, the federal holiday serves as the start of summer—but Maclehose was sure to emphasize that it is in fact a day to remember the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

 

The event began with the Madrigals’ harmonic singing of the national anthem. Each speaker was then introduced by SHS juniors Katheryn Lopez, Karen Gaytan, Jennifer Lopez, and Widline Thomas. The speakers each shared their experience and explained how much their service has impacted their lives.  Veteran and current Greenwich police officer Shirley Rilett said, “The military wasn’t something I wanted to do at first,” but the tragedy of September 11th encouraged her to enlist and protect her country.

 

Throughout the ceremony, each speaker highlighted the significance that service holds and encouraged students to take the holiday as an opportunity to reflect. SHS security guard Mike Gonzalez closed, stating, “How do you say thank you to the fallen? You thank their family and honor them by being your best.”

 

Maclehose has been hosting the veterans on both Memorial Day and Veterans Day every year since 2007.  “We built off the great work that Tony Pavia started in the 1990’s with bringing local Stamford veterans, especially graduates of Stamford High, in to speak to the students about their military experience, Maclehose said.

 

Maclehose said that about ten veterans were honored at the ceremony this year, most of whom had a direct connection to Stamford High.  “We hope to continue the tradition in the years to come and ask students who are interested in helping to coordinate future commemorations to contact the History Department to discuss it in more detail,” Maclehose said.

 

Editors’ note: This story was updated to include additional quotations from history teacher Doug Maclehose.

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