Whether you adopted a Medal of Honor recipient as a
class project, or just want the opportunity to meet with one, there is no more exciting
opportunity than a patriotic school assembly with a Medal of Honor recipient as your
special guest and speaker. Unfortunately it happens all too rarely, and probably
because most teachers don't realize just how possible such a wonderful event can be.
Our purpose in this page is two-fold:
To address the questions and concerns that you
may have about such a program, and
Provide ideas for putting together your program.
We further suggest that you spend some time on the
"SHARE" pages to see some examples of how Pueblo Schools (and hopefully soon
many others) have put together such programs.
*WHAT'S IT GOING TO COST?
Of course that is always the biggest concern. Most schools, churches, clubs and
other organizations are used to speakers who charge LARGE HONORARIUMS to participate in a
program. Major "celebrities" like Medal of Honor recipients must surely be
quite expensive, right? WRONG!
Most of the Medal of Honor recipients we have met
have spent their lives DONATING their time and efforts to patriotic education. In
fact, one of the main activities at their annual reunions is a period set aside to visit
schools in the host town. Does this mean that their visit to your school is free?
NO! Someone will pay for it, and all too often it has been the hero themself.
So dedicated to patriotic education are these great men that most will visit a
school or youth organization even when they have out-of-pocket travel and other expenses.
Is this RIGHT? NO!
Though the odds are that, when you invite a Medal
of Honor recipient to speak to your school he will never mention cost, good stewardship
requires that you do your best to compensate him for travel and other expenses. And
it sure doesn't hurt to add a little extra as a "gift of appreciation".
*WHAT ABOUT PROTOCOL?
If you don't know what "protocol" is, just announce publically that
you've invited a Medal of Honor recipient to your school and you'll start hearing about
it. Among military personnel proper protocol (proceedure) is a way of life and
increasingly important when dealing with high ranking officers, VIPs, and Medal of Honor
recipients. When a Medal Of Honor recipient walks onto a military post or is a guest
at a Veterans' function they do appreciate the practice of proper protocol. But when
they walk into a classroom of young Americans they are more concerned about interest,
patriotism and respect than proceedure, pomp and ceremony. You may not understand
all of the right ways and wrong ways of conducting certain ceremonies, but don't let the
fear of making a mistake keep you from taking advantage of the opportunity to introduce
your students to a "living legend". Just DO YOUR BEST, and you will be
appreciated for it.
*WHAT IF A STUDENT ASKS AN EMBARASSING
Trust me...ONE OF THEM WILL! And as you cringe in your seat your visiting Medal
Recipient will answer it simply and honestly. It is not unusual for children to have
questions about the nature of warfare, questions that we as adults may think far too
personal to ever ask. Medal of Honor recipients have heard them all, and learned to
*SO WHERE DO I START?
You start by moving from the idea that "It would be nice to invite a Medal of
Honor recipient to our school" to DOING IT.