Though the Silverton Middle School leadership students put on a Veteran’s Day celebration every year, this year’s celebration will be remembered as something special. In cooperation with the Oregon Army National Guard and Air National Guard, Silverton Middle School students had the opportunity to witness a Blackhawk helicopter landing in the football practice fields just north of the school.
After the landing, a special treat for student winners of a school-wide essay contest, students from all 6th period classes were invited out as time permitted to climb in the helicopter, get up-close Q&A with armed services members, and even sit at the flight controls.
“Being able to talk to someone in uniform, with a helicopter right there, it’s real,” says Silverton Middle School Principal Brett Davisson. “It really brings it home for the students. These are real people who are making sacrifices and putting their lives on the line for us.”
Following the helicopter event was an assembly where veterans from the Silverton area were invited to come and be recognized by Silverton Middle School students.
“Seeing the helicopter was incredible,” continues Davisson. “But then the assembly afterwards is an opportunity to show appreciation and to honor the veterans living in our community. We have staff members who are vets, parents of students, grandparents… meeting these veterans in person gives a deeper appreciation of their sacrifices. It’s not something they’re reading about in a book, they’re right here. You hear a story then meet someone who actually did it. And of course it’s an opportunity for us to honor the veterans as well.”c