Montevallo High School recently honored veterans in two unique ways as part of their Veterans Day ceremony, held November 8.
First, the school complied a Veterans Register of Honor similar to what is done at the National Veteran’s Shrine located at the American Village in Montevallo. Almost 100 names of veterans were read at the Veterans Day assembly on November 8. A “Wall of Honor” slide show was also created using photos of veterans obtained from students, faculty, community members, and the Montevallo Mainstreet Banner program.
MHS teacher Michael Martin said the Veterans Registry project was two-fold and was first introduced to students in all grades 9-12 through social studies classes. Students were asked to use a Google form that was developed to help compile the names of service members, both living and deceased. The form gave the school essential information needed to send out invitations to living veterans to attend the assembly and for Student Government Association (SGA) students to send “thank you for your service” cards to them also.
Included in the Wall of Honor in two different places was the late Dr. Earl Cunningham, a prominent and active member of the Montevallo community who received two bronze stars for his service in Korea and Vietnam. Cunningham served in both the Navy (1950-1054) and the Army (1955-1971).
The registry project is still on-going with the next step to work in conjunction with the American Village to get the names submitted for the MHS registry also registered in the National Veterans Register of Honor.
The second unique way the school honored veterans was the placement of a POW/MIA “Remembrance Table” in the cafeteria for the week leading up to Veterans Day.
“The remembrance table, also known as a ‘Missing Man’ or ‘Fallen Comrades’ table was started after the Vietnam War,” explained Martin during the program. “Originally designed to symbolize our prisoners of war and those missing in action, now this table is used to represent all those who have served our country and are no longer with us.”
Martin stated there are still 81,000 US soldiers still listed as “missing in action.” The table also represents the more than 1.1 million individuals who have died in combat during 12 conflicts dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Martin also explained the significance of each item represented on the table, which is detailed in the graphic below courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command website.