The dim lights in the auditorium begin to taunt me as I nervously watch students trickle in with their heads down. A state of solemnity fills the room, and I can feel the eyes of seven hundred students staring at me, or more specifically they can clearly see the tiny details of the crimson poppy I wear on my chest. A hush slowly falls through the crowd as I begin to speak, “ At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleven month in 1918, the guns fell silent as an agreement was reached- four years of hardship, pain, and tragedy were finally over.”

My hands grasp the microphone ever so tightly, that it begins to drip with miniature drips of sweat. After a few minutes of silence,  I begin to speak again. The words easily slide out of my mouth, but my mind flies away. Those drips of sweat are the tears I cry everytime I listen to my grandmother’s tragic story of losing her father. She never got to see him. Constant waiting by the doors every night but the result was always the same. He wasn’t going to come back and she knew it. How devastating to grow up with a missing piece. With the only things you love and learn to depend on, give up on you. How was my grandmother supposed to sleep at night when all she could see was her father’s swollen face caked with dirt, blood, and sweat. She couldn’t and neither could I. I didn’t ever realize how much sacrifice each soldier had to give up. Not only sacrificing their own life but their family as well. Their bold courage to do the right thing even when they were scared, so that their children and grandchildren could live in peace. How humbling of all these soldiers, either known or unknown. My eye’s blur and the room becomes out of focus as warm tears slide down my illuminated face. “ We remember those who have sacrificed themselves to help others, those people, when faced in peril, life threatening circumstances, chose to put others first so that we could enjoy the peace that we take for granted today. As Lewis Carroll once said, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” These soldiers have humbly fought for their family, their friends, and most importantly our country,” I pause as I clasp my hands together behind me. I slowly start to feel a tingling sensation in my soul. A warm bubbly feeling embraces me as my grandmother voice whispers in my ear, “ Don’t forget him.”

I glance up into the ceiling above, “ I will not.”

We hope you understand that the advantages you enjoy today come with very high prices, and your future relies on protecting them. We take too many things for granted that the society we live in today, is something citizens around the world wouldn’t even be capable to dream of. Their countries are on the edge of falling apart from all the violence. And peace is still more than just a few steps away. Let us help end this.” I let out a deep sigh, releasing my melancholy emotions. My fingers reach up to delicately to caress my grandmother’s necklace, a symbol that reminds me that it’s isn’t over yet. I know that my grandmother and great grandfather both smile at me as I rub the necklace that keep their memory close to my heart.

After this assembly, we hope you reflect on all the things we take for granted everyday. That our freedom of speech, our right to vote, our right to a fair trial, and our freedom of religion all come because of our veterans. We too often forget that our society of peace and happiness are all but a dream for citizens living in war torn countries. Be thankful, remember, and let it end. Lest we forget~

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