NCWHS hosts 5th annual Veteran’s Day dinner


Justin "Cech" Ridinger

Veterans preform a traditional flag ceremony to honor the five branches of the military, while the Jazz Voices sing the national anthem at the NCWHS veterans dinner on 11/13/2018

Justin "Cech" Ridinger, Staff Reporter

Normal West high school hosted its fifth annual Veteran’s Day dinner to honor those in our community who have served in the armed forces. The event attracted over 200 people, making it the largest dinner in the five years West has hosted it.

This year’s veterans dinner also included a performance from the NCWHS Jazz Voices, a traditional flag ceremony honoring the five branches in the military, a bake sale, and an art show.

The art show was the newest addition to the dinner involving over 85 works of art. The art show was open to all West students to enter and the only criteria was it in some way represents patriotism.

That night’s attendees voted on their favorite work of art from six categories. The winners were: Drawing–Ny’asia Bush, Painting–Dustion Miller, Ceramics–Jacob van Scoyoc, Photo–Kailee Jackson & Sophie Furman (tied), Graphic–Gabrielle Fanning-Burr, 2D miscellaneous–Stephanie Rinehart. Senior Clayton Davis won best in show for his drawing “Iwo Jima” based off the famous picture of four soldiers raising the American flag on a mound of rubble.

“It took me two weeks to draw Iwo Jima,” said Davis, “but it was worth it. It was allowed me to give back to the veterans we owe our freedom to.”

Justin “cech” Ridinger
Artist Clayton Davis poses next to his drawing “Iwo Jima” at the NCWHS Veterans Day dinner. Davis won best in show.

Ms. Geiselman, an art teacher at West who helped put on the art show said, “I was really excited when Mr. Bierbaum came to me over the summer telling me about his idea of having a small art exhibit at the veterans dinner. I told the students about it when they got back from summer, and they loved the idea, and it turned into a show involving 85 works of art.”

The Jazz Voices made another appearance at the dinner starting the night by singing the “Star Spangled Banner” and during the dinner they sang “America the Beautiful”, “Song of the Unsung Hero”, and the armed forces theme songs.

“The dinner was only made possible because of the students help,” said Mr. Bierbaum. “There was amazing support from the students who donated desserts, ran the ticket and donation tables, served food, and worked incredibly hard helping set up before the event and cleaning afterwards.”

One volunteer, Lillian Ridinger said, “It was important to me that I give back to those who protected our freedoms so selflessly.” Her sentiments were echoed by senior Juliana Casner who said, “It just felt like the right thing to do.”

The Social Studies Club, who organized the event, has recently adopted graves of World War I soldiers to help clean and preserve their gravestones. Thy were selling wreaths to place on graves for the Christmas season.

The Social Studies Club is donating all the proceeds from the night to the charity Operation Santa that sends socks to troops serving overseas.