Lake Forest Honors Our Veterans


Claire Mahoney

Today, during sixth period, a special performance occurred in the RMA to honor Veterans’ Day,  which takes place this Sunday, November 11th. Hosted by the High School and Lake Forest American Legion, the annual presentation highlights local veterans, includes a performance by the band and choir, a veteran panel discussion, and concludes with a showing of student presentations facilitated by the American Legion. Created for both students and community members, the program allows us to all remember the meaning of the day.

Beginning with the presentation of colors by the Lake Forest American Legion Post 264, the national anthem was sung by Lake Forest High School choir members as well as the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Immediately following, the LFHS Band performed “America the Beautiful” with vocal soloist Antoinette Pompe Van Meerdervoort. Junior Luke Gulson then announced the branches of the military while their respective songs were played by the band. Members of these branches and their families were asked to stand to be honored.

Student hosts Mattison Boveri and Jack Nemickas then presented Jim Hawkins and Jon Testwuide, two veterans of the Navy, who participated in a discussion. Answering questions regarding their path to the military, how they liked their positions and experience, and what they would recommend to students looking to be a part of the military, Mr. Hawkins and Testwuide gave amazing feedback on their experiences. Serving around the world in different locations, the two men have had experiences on ships, the ground, and aircraft carriers. They emphasized the meaning of their work and their goal of preserving peace by having a presence around the world.

After this discussion, The American Legion presented the top three winners of a Veterans’ Day Contest where students share their creative take on what Veterans’ Day means to them. The top three won both a monetary prize as well as a donation to a school activity of their choice. Grace Foster, who placed third, presented a video in which she interviewed various current members of the military serving at the Great Lakes Naval Base. Lauren Fabbri,  who placed second, created a poem which honored veterans. The winner for two years in a row, Maria Tsarik, designed a large painting which depicts a soldier with flowers with a background of the American flag.

Dr. Holland made concluding remarks after a performance of “Taps.” The beautiful program aimed to make more students aware of the meaning of Veteran’s Day and honor those who serve around Lake Forest High School.