Columbus High School welcomed back some of its loyal veterans to honor them with a plaque for their service on November ninth.
Columbus invited back alumni who served our country to be honored with a large plaque consisting of the names of many veterans and a ceremony commemorating everything they’ve done for America while representing Columbus High School as well. The memorial meant much to the veterans as it provides a much deeper meaning to Veteran’s Day to students at Columbus. Army veteran and Columbus alumni Rafael Ribas explained that “Veteran’s Day is one of those days that we should honor people who gave them the opportunity to live the way they are.” The importance of remembering our veteran alumni was shown at the unveiling of the plaque when fellow Columbus alumni and Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, and Columbus’ very own Brother Kevin, both spoke at the event. They spoke to the Patriot Club, more veterans, and many others in attendance at the ceremony. They both emphasized how thankful they are for Columbus alumni to put their lives at risk for citizens of America to live the way they do. As well as how amazing it was to have the veterans there to unveil their own plaque commemorating them.
Columbus High School has always been known for its students being able to maintain a strong brotherhood and great relationship with not only their peers but administration as well even after the students graduate. That was the case for alumni (Class of 1962) and veteran Carter Burrus. He explained how he was honored to be able to put his life on the line for America, but also be able to come back and work for his school. Carter Burrus is currently the Patriot Club moderator and guidance counselor at Columbus, and he carried a large role in putting together the plaque honoring veterans just like him.
Veteran’s Day has been a national holiday since November 11th, 1919. Students from all over the country have taken the day off and have done things they would do on a normal weekend. Despite all this veteran’s such as Ribas hope that while it’s great that people take a day off from work and school, they understand why they are given the day off. Ribas said, “America is as great as it is because of people like veterans and the fact that the country honors them by allowing people to take a day off is great.” Robert Polster, Columbus junior, talked about how he understands the importance of honoring all of our veterans on Veteran’s Day despite taking that day off. Polster explained “I think it’s really important…it’s my duty to honor my parents and my family.”
Fortunately, Columbus doesn’t just set aside one day out of the year to honor veterans. They have a whole plaza to honor the veterans every day for all the hard work they put in for America. Columbus veterans can always come back home knowing that there is a whole wall dedicated to them.
With contributions by Aidan Chacon and Kori Santiago.