The upper and middle school communities gathered in the Iglehart Auditorium on Friday for BL’s annual Veterans Day Assembly. According to longtime teacher Butch Maisel H’09, who organized and ran the program, Boys’ Latin has commemorated Veterans Day in this way for approximately thirty-five years.
Music played a prominent role in this year’s assembly: led by Mr. Matthew Pisarcik, an instrumental ensemble composed of middle and upper school students played the official hymns of each branch of the Armed Forces. Mr. Maisel encouraged audience members to stand for each theme if they had a relative who served in that designated military branch.
As is tradition, Mr. Maisel projected images of Lakers who fought in conflicts from the Civil War to recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This year, he placed special emphasis on two veterans, Robert Dashiell Ebert ‘47 and Benjamin H. Woodruff Jr. ‘44. Both men served in Korea, where they lost their lives in 1952. Both are buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Mr. Maisel paid tribute to both men by recounting their biographical details, as well as records of their service, which he learned from his research in the School’s archives.
Following his remarks, Mr. Maisel turned over the podium to this year’s keynote speaker, retired Naval Commander Matt Most ‘85. In addition to having served as an officer and a pilot in the US Navy for more than twenty-five years, Commander Most was once Mr. Maisel’s history student, as well as his second baseman on the Laker baseball team. In his speech, Commander Most paid tribute to “the service and sacrifice of regular men and women,” some of whom he served alongside, and some who preceded him in the military.
He praised previous generations of volunteer servicemen and women, the unsung heroes who “without reservation, left their jobs and secure lifestyle, knowingly went to distant lands to defend and preserve our way of life and all the freedoms that we enjoy.”
“It was these volunteers that showed up when our country needed them the most,” he continued.
Following an appreciative ovation from the community, Mr. Maisel presented Commander Most with a gift, and Headmaster Post took to the podium to speak on the importance of observing Veterans Day.
“The service and sacrifice provided by women and men all over the world is a tangible example of what it means to embody our motto – Esse Quam Videri: To be, rather than to seem,” he said, “The service and sacrifice provided by women and men all over the world is a tangible example of what it means to live out our values of courage, compassion and integrity.”
Click here to watch the assembly.