The Veterans Day Assembly, an annual BL tradition, was perhaps more notable than ever this year. Butch Maisel H’09, the co-curator for the Center for Military History and the annual Veterans Day program coordinator, recently received local and national news attention when he returned a military dog tag to the family of a fallen soldier from the WWII Battle of Corregidor. Mr. Maisel has acquired at least a dozen such tags and is working to return as many as possible to surviving relatives.
On Thursday, Mr. Maisel began the program by talking about his experience with the dog tags and with other artifacts, and he emphasized their importance in providing a tangible way to remember fallen soldiers. He told the story of a toy soldier that once belonged to Nick Ziolkowski ’01, a BL alum who was killed fighting in Iraq in 2004. The simple plastic figurine is one of the thousands of artifacts in the museum’s collection, each with its own backstory.
Mr. Maisel turned over the podium to the keynote speaker, Colonel Eric Borsoni, a lifelong marine and father of ninth grader Gio Borsoni ’25, as well as a BL middle school lacrosse coach. Colonel Borsoni spoke of his “earnest love” for Boys’ Latin and highlighted the values of camaraderie, teamwork, and brotherhood, shared by both BL and the U.S. Marine Corps.
“This community of brothers reminds me every day of the things that have been most dear to me in over thirty years in uniform, and are the underpinnings of what Veterans Day means to me,” he said.
Following Colonel Borsoni’s remarks, Headmaster Post capped off the program with some reminders about the historical origins of Veterans Day. (President Woodrow Wilson established the date, then called Armistice Day, in 1919, a year after the end of WWI.) He ended his speech by reflecting on what Veterans Day means to him.
“To me, Veterans Day is meant to ensure that we remember: we remember the connection between the sacrifice of so many and the enduring freedoms we enjoy,” said Mr. Post. “Today is a poignant reminder that the day that we take for granted our freedom, our voice, our chance to participate, is the day that we lose our Republic.”
Following the presentation in the Iglehart Gymnasium, middle and upper school students and faculty adjourned to the area surrounding the flag in front of the Alumni House to observe a moment of silence and honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice. As music teacher Matt Pisarcik played “Taps” on the trumpet, several students laid a memorial wreath in front of a stone engraved with the names of BL’s fallen soldiers. Click here for a complete video of our Veterans Day program and see below for recent news coverage.