Annual Veterans Appreciation Day Hosted by Liberty High School

From the proud emblems on their caps to the cherished mementos in their scrapbooks, every piece of memorabilia that local veterans shared with students spoke volumes of courage and resilience.


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On Wednesday, March 13, Liberty High School’s National Social Studies Honor Society hosted a veteran’s appreciation program that brought together students and local veterans for a profound exchange of stories and gratitude. Social studies teacher Brooke Richter highlighted the educational value of connecting history lessons with veterans’ firsthand experiences. 

“So many veterans bring things from that time period,” said Richter. “They've held onto mementos and awards, and that is something students can’t get in a regular history class, in a lesson, or a lecture. It makes it real for them.”

The National Social Studies Honor Society is an organization aimed to celebrate and promote history throughout Liberty High School. Benjamin Webdell, president of the organization, emphasized the importance of the event and how it not only teaches history, but the stories shared deeply resonate with all attendees. 

“I feel honored to hear their story,” said Webdell. “We all want to listen to them and I think they appreciate that, too.”

The program included a musical performance by the Veteran Family Band and the national anthem was sung by the school’s choir. Army veteran Larry Walker spoke about the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery in Kern County and its purpose to memorialize service members who lost their lives. Additionally, attendees heard a keynote address from Rick Knight, a retired Sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps. 

"It's so special to talk to students and give them some history lessons," said Walker. "The new generation needs to know what it's like to be a veteran, serving your country."


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Throughout the program, the gymnasium overflowed with sentiments of honor and respect among both students and veterans alike. As students engaged in meaningful conversations, they gained firsthand insights into pivotal moments in history. Veterans from all branches of the military shared their unique stories and memorabilia related to the historical events in which they lived, allowing students to learn about the sacrifices made and the importance of studying history.

"I feel a lot more of a connection with it," shared Ryan Flores. "It's a great experience because you are really able to connect with what you are learning by talking with all of the veterans."