Students enjoy Veterans Day online

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Arnav Bhalla, eighth-grader, said that veterans day was not as interactive as last year.

Winston Wang and Parth Dhingra

Students and teachers at RCMS celebrated Veterans Day Nov. 11 online.

“I think that Veterans Day went really successful this year,” said Vishwa Makesh, an eighth-grader.

Veterans Day is a day of commemoration, patriotism, and gratitude. Every Nov. 11, Americans take a day to honor the people, dead or alive, that have served for our country. 

Despite the fact many celebrations were canceled this year, some still carried on. For example, the NFL continued its tradition of honoring veterans by selling exclusive merchandise, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra paid an online tribute to veterans, and Apple hosted a Apple Watch activity challenge where you have to complete a workout that is 11 minutes or longer. And RCMS welcomed veterans to speak about their experiences.

“I think that using Google Meet made everything go flawlessly,” Vishwa said.

How Attitudes Towards Veterans Have Changed

It may be hard to imagine, but until recently, veterans have not received the same level of gratitude as they receive now.

A lot of veterans remember returning home from the Vietnam War and being greeted with anger and hospitality. 

During the virtual veterans day session this year, James McMichael, who served in the Navy, said that his homecoming was full of insults.

“Vietnam was an unpopular war,” he said. 

For many decades, people have tried to hide the fact that they were veterans, and they have only started to be thanked in the past decade. Perhaps one big factor is social media. Many young people use social media, and when platforms such as Twitter and Facebook thank veterans, young people may be aware of the sacrifices veterans have made for their country. 

Arnav Bhalla, an eighth-grader, feels like veterans are underappreciated.

“They work really hard to inform the students about who they are, what they do and all of the different positions and jobs,” Arnav said. “But I don’t think students care too much.”

Nikola Galov, another eighth-grader, agrees they don’t get the attention they deserve.

“People only talk about them one day a year,” he said. 

Since schools and classes have been moved online, interaction levels have not been as high. Similarly to school, Arnav feels like Veterans Day was not as interactive this year. “Usually, I see them face to face,” he said. “It’s a little harder.” 

Nikola agreed. “It was a lot harder to stay focused this year,” he said. “In the classroom, they can see when you are distracted, however online, your cameras are off.”

On top of that, Nikola also said that sometimes the computer brings technical issues. “In person you can’t lag,” he joked.

Adithya Balagura, an eighth-grader, however, said that this was a new opportunity that shows Carson’s ability to adapt to new struggles.

“I felt at some times it was actually more interactive than in person since I wasn’t getting zoned out,” he said.