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Veterans Day 2021
The last nineteen-plus months have been challenging for all of us. We are proud to share that the High School's first all-school assembly took place on November 12 to commemorate Veterans Day. Representatives from the History Club spoke about the history of Veterans Day, distinctions between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, how best to commemorate Veterans Day, and a poem was read. Ramsey VFW representatives Joe Barnes (RHS ‘59) and John Rigg (RHS ‘89) were present, recognized, and provided a reflection.
Ramsey High School teacher Keith Lyle, who coordinates the high school's morning announcements, also does a great deal to celebrate our veterans and remember our graduates who gave their lives for our country. Mr. Lyle spoke with Rick Perkins (RHS ‘64) over the summer and asked if he would reflect on his classmate and basketball teammate Dick Oviatt (RHS ‘65), who was killed in Vietnam in 1968. Rick asked Jack May (RHS ‘66), Ronald Reid (RHS ‘65), and Dick’s younger brother Tom Oviatt (RHS ‘70) provide reflections, and we were able to share these with the students and staff.
Each of these reflections told Dick’s story well and made his story come to life. They personalized Dick’s experience by talking about how he developed his game, contributed to RHS school spirit, and even how he endured the fashion of the day. The examples they shared about growing up in Ramsey were relatable for our students, from playing basketball at Finch Park to experiences like Cub Scouts and Little League. These men established Dick as a person who walked the halls of RHS and set an example for others as a friend, basketball player, and a great American who gave his all for our country. Each speaker's honesty resonated and allowed our students to relate to Dick.
Dick’s younger brother, Tom, shared a powerful story that illustrated how Dick taught him to do thoughtful things, in order to let someone know you love them. He underscored the power of relationships and the magic of having a brother. Recovering from a loss of a loved one is something that many people have never overcome. Sharing the message his older brother gave to him before departing for Vietnam provided a lesson that will help others who experience the loss of a loved one.
We consistently remind our students that they stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before them. We continually strive to evolve the high school experience to better prepare our graduates to succeed in our rapidly changing world. In doing so, we emphasize the importance of building relationships that help us transfer all we have learned and the skills we have built to each new circumstance we face. We are grateful to our veterans and alumni for sharing a part of themselves with us.