Arrowhead High School
The following is an article AHS senior Brianna Meyer wrote for Living Lake Country Sunday on Arrowhead High School’s Veteran Tribute:
Last year, three teachers from the Arrowhead social studies department decided to honor veterans from AHS or the Hartland area with a showcase in the school hallway. Five months later, teachers Joseph Paul, Ron Reichle, and Craig Haase unveiled the Arrowhead Area Veteran Tribute in the commons. The eight foot tall, thirteen foot wide display will hold artifacts and photographs of over ten different veterans of past wars.
Paul said that he and his Arrowhead colleagues came up with the idea “over lunch one day last year.” Since then, the project has been growing and changing into the glass case it is today.
|(Click on the picture to view a video on Arrowhead High School's Veteran Tribute)|
“The main purpose of the case us to recognize veterans from Hartland High School and Arrowhead High School,” said Reichle. “We want to show our appreciation for their service and to create a display case that the entire community can be proud of and will want to visit.”
Originally just a small project, the veteran showcase started with Paul’s AP classes doing research about veterans from the Hartland area. Students looked on websites, searched army transcripts, and even looked through old yearbooks to confirm the identities of the soldiers.
“It was really fun,” said Arrowhead senior Maddie Klink of the project. She was a member of Paul’s AP US History class last year. “It was cool looking through old yearbooks and finding the veterans, and it was an honor hearing their stories and how touched they and their families were.”
While Paul had small dreams of a case hung on the wall, the three immediately realized they needed more space.
“[Mr. Paul] thought we should try and get in touch with as many of these veterans or their families as we could,” said Reichle. “We explained to them what we had planned and many asked if we would want to display medals or uniforms. That is when a small four foot by eight foot case turned into the current thirteen by eight case.”
In order to pay for the case, the teachers sold doughnuts on Fridays to students and received donations totaling to $7,500. Even so, there is still room to donate.
“We still need about $1,500 to pay for framing, printing and the dinner we have planned to officially open the case and honor these veterans and their families,” said Reichle.
Although there are still some veterans left to talk to, the case is slowly coming together. One part of the display is up, and the rest are on the way.
This first wave of items is not the end to the exhibit. The case will be an open display for anything veterans want to share with the community.
“The official unveiling is December 8th. It will never be ‘finished,’ but it is permenant,” said Paul.
Starting in early November, students at AHS will have the opportunity to have their writing up in the case. Interested students will prepare small write ups about a war being displayed or what Hartland was like at the time of the war. The winners’ writing will be put up in the case.
“I think it's important to remember the sacrifice that members of the Arrowhead and Hartland High community have made,” said Paul. “Students today need to see and appreciate what others have done to protect America.”
Students are proud of the display and how everything has materialized. The case provides them with direct access to things relating to the subjects they are studying.
“I really enjoyed working on the project,” said Arrowhead senior Divya Kodali. She also worked on research through Paul’s class last year. “It’s an amazing feeling every time I walk down the hallway past the case and think, ‘Our APUSH class made this possible!’ It makes me feel great.”
There will be a dinner honoring all Hartland area veterans and a guest on Saturday, December 8th. The case will also be opened to the public on that day.
“We are hoping that our display case is something that honors the area veterans and they will be proud to be a part of,” said Reichle.
In order to further support the Arrowhead Area Veteran Tribute or to attend the dinner, please contact Paul, Reichle, or Haase through Arrowhead High School.