November 11, 2005


I hate ceremonies. Too much protocol and pomp for my taste. They tend to miss the meanings they were created for. Weddings, graduations, and church cermonies tend to get more elaborate and extravagant all the time, yet these extra frills don't add significance to the event. A big wedding is more significant than a small one.

Each year at this time, my school puts on a HUGE cermony for Veterans day. We're talking the whole nine yards here: Chorus singers, honor guard, hundreds of veterans, doves, bagpipers, bugler, poetry reading, etc, etc, etc. It all starts about 2 weeks out.... at least my involvment anyway. Every day on the morning news we have to stop and honor the "treasures" that little Johnny brought in to show the school (it's fine here and there, but you should see the lines form to get on the news each morning.... you'd think it was the TODAY show).
Next comes the scanning. After we beg for each student to bring in pictures of their vet, I get to scan it in the computer. Some pictures get submitted EVERY DAY (grrrrrrr), other students submit their entire family tree. Needless to say it takes me hours each day.
Then comes the "Wall of Stars". Again I'm charged with collecting names and information about every veteran that our students know so that we can put their name on a star for our hallway. Most students submit 3 or 4 names, but some submit 15 - 20. It's like doing our entire school's geneology. Add duplicate pictures and names to the mix and you can see how it all adds up.

OK, I'm not even going to talk about the tribute projects that I've helped with, or serving lunch to the veterans, or the logistics of setting up the stage, risers, mics and audio. Bottom line it's a lot of work.
Now, somewhere around 30 minutes into the program, I start saying to myself "OK, that's long enough". Once that voice in my head doesn't shut up. Every minute that goes by after that turns sour. The sun beats down a little harder, the kindergarteners lose interest and start "playing", the guest speaker starts talking about...... well, who knows.... we've all checked out (Vets tend to talk WAY above comprehension level of elementary school children). Waiting for the finish line, I think back to the weeks of scanning, and panning I've done.....

.... Did we really need all this to honor our Veterans? Hell NO!! Short and sweet would have been so much better. After all, how many moments of silence should there be in one ceremony?

1 comment:

Iris Blue said...

I agree. The same happens with Martin Luther King Day. Everyone has to give their tribute and forgets audience. There should be a hard and fast time frame for the whole show and then that's it. That means having to carefully choose what will be said considering the age of the audience and that's it.