Southeast H S Honors Vets

Southeast High School students recognize Veterans Day in Oklahoma City

From The Oklahoman,, 11-11-13

Cadets from the school's Air Force Junior ROTC program performed, and there was a re-enactment of the Iwo Jima flag raising.


Kristen Morrison got a healthy jolt from the butterflies in her stomach before her performance with the Southeast High School Junior ROTC drill team Monday morning in the school's gym.

Chesapeake Energy employees re-enact the flag raising on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi on Monday during a Veterans Day program at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND

Morrison and the rest of the team nailed their five minute performance, bringing the assembled veterans, district officials and students to their feet. As a senior, it was her last Veterans Day performance. The group of girls marched in perfect formation, varying their cadence and steps while stomping their feet.

“The precision that you have to have is hard to get,” Morrison said. “You're worried about the angles of your arms, and how far you're turning your head. You're constantly worried you are going to mess up.”

But like rest of those in the JROTC unit, they wanted to deliver for the veterans of World War II, Vietnam and Korea who were present.

“It's a day that is completely dedicated to the men and women who fought for our country and gave their lives for their country,” she said. “It's a day of respect, and we wanted to make sure we showed respect.”

Senior Ivan Cortez also performed as part of the JROTC's boy's rifle team. Like their female counterparts, their routine was received warmly.

“This is a great opportunity to thank others who served and died and those who are still missing,” he said. “It's also a way for people to see what we do so they can carry on that tradition when this group is gone.”

The program also featured volunteers from Chesapeake Energy who dressed up in bronze World War II uniforms. With their skin painted bronze, the group looked like statues. They performed a re-enactment of the iconic flag raising on Iwo Jima.

The cadets also performed the Missing Man Table Ceremony. The purpose of the ceremony is to acknowledge the inability of missing soldiers to participate in Veterans Day celebrations. There is a place setting at the table for each service branch to honor their missing soldiers.

Vietnam veteran Joseph Parson, of Oklahoma City, watched Southeast's JROTC program with pride. He served in the Army's 173rd Airborne Division.

“It makes me proud to see these kids out here carrying on that tradition,” he said. “They all did an outstanding job and the people doing the Iwo Jima re-enactment were amazing. I thought they were statues so that surprised me.”