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Veteran’s Day Chapel

November 09, 2015
By Perry R. Banse, Assistant Superintendent, Middle/High School Principal

At Indian Rocks Christian School, one of the core values that we try to instill in our students is patriotism. It is important that our students understand the history of our country, how we got to where we are, and develop an appreciation for those who have sacrificed through their service to gain us these freedoms. One of our premier areas of educating the students in this is our annual Veteran’s Day chapel that is planned and put on by our National Honor Societies and their advisor, Mrs. Machelle’ Stevens. They have been doing this for a number of years and each year I am impressed with the message brought and the depth of teaching.

November 11 is a national holiday each year that has been set aside to honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who have served our country in one of the military branches. says that many people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day and most don’t know the significance of its date and history. While they both celebrate patriotism, service, and sacrifice, their focal point is a bit different.

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans (after all, it was the “war to end all wars”). In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, Congress amended the wording of the act changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1968, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October as a “floating” national holiday, similar to Presidents’ Day. In 1978 it was moved back to its original November 11th date.

Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day (such as Cpl. Frank Gross and SSGT Matt Sitton who are IRCS alums that gave their lives in duty) but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. An example of this would be our Bible department chair, Bob Pacecca. Bob served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army before coming to Indian Rocks. We appreciate his service.

This is an open invitation for everyone to join us for the annual Indian Rocks Christian School Veteran’s Day chapel. It will take place in the Worship Center on Wednesday, November 11, beginning at 9:30am. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s ROTC Color Guard will be presenting our colors. We will also be reviving the tradition of selling poppies to honor our veterans. All proceeds will go to area veterans.

If you are a veteran, please come and let us honor you. If you are a parent, please join us to see how we are trying to educate our students and / or see your student perform. Maybe you don’t have either of these immediate connections but are feeling a little patriotic and would like to come. Please feel free. The Honor Societies would love to share their chapel with as many as possible.

If you cannot attend, please watch on IRCS Live! Veterans Day Chapel