Staples Honors Memorial Day

The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce celebrated Memorial Day weekend with an ad from a lawyer soliciting business for DWI arrests.

Staples High School did it right.

“Good Morning Staples” — the student-produced TV show that airs in classrooms and hallways around the school — departed from its usual fare of artsy announcements and offbeat interviews on Thursday.  The entire 14 minutes was devoted to 2 combat veterans:  Rich Franzis and Bruce Allen.

Franzis — a popular assistant principal, and a reservist — returned last year from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Allen — a longtime Westport resident and special policemen — served decades ago, in World War II.

Prompted by English instructor Dan Geraghty — who served active duty with the 10th Mountain Division, then was an infantry officer with the National Guard — the 2 men talked quietly and honestly about many things:  going over, and coming home.  Honoring dead comrades and friends.  What Memorial Day means today.

Franzis’s and Allen’s experiences were vastly different — and compellingly similar.  They did not glamorize war — in fact, Allen called all wars futile.

They did something even more important:  They made every Staples student think about what this weekend signifies.

Let’s hope they’re not the only ones.

(Click here to see the “Good Morning Staples” Memorial Day tribute — it may take a while to load.  If that doesn’t work, click here first, then on the flag.)

2 responses to “Staples Honors Memorial Day

  1. Maggie Mudd

    That Staples presentation really touched me. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  2. Addison Fletcher

    Your blog inspires education. I have learned that the first Memorial Day (called Declaration Day) was on May 5th, 1866 in Charleston, South Carolina when over 10,000 individuals, mostly African American, gathered to give tribute to those enslaved in a prison camp. The date was changed to May 30th by a group of in Waterloo, New York in the next year. They date was changed to actually avoid the remembrance of a terrible battle on May 5th (or perhaps they did not want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo??). The holiday was not recognized by our federal government until 1967 so all those parades I marched in during the 50’s in Westport were well before their time. The true holiday is for those who have fallen in battle and their true sacrifice and the loss their loved ones endured. For many others, it is the beginning of summer and the end of school. I am sure that those fallen heroes would find some solace in the fact that their holiday is also associated with freedom and fun. Happy 144th Memorial Day!