Former Principal Speaks on Veterans Day

Kale Cantu, Reporter

On the eleventh of November, students and teachers alike commemorate the fallen and the war-torn veterans at Southside for the Veterans Day Assembly. This momentous communion with the veterans was a heart-stirring moment that resonated with the students.

“We gather here today to honor these veterans. For their years of service to this country and all of its people,” said Wayne Haver, veteran and former principal of Southside High School. “104 years ago, to this day, we celebrate and honor the veterans and the end of the first world war.”

“I have a challenge for you to complete by day’s end. Find a veteran, they are everywhere. You could go to Walmart and find- typically an old guy- as a veteran. Usually, they have a baseball cap that says ‘Veteran’ or ‘Veteran of Iraq’. I want you to go up to him and give him a firm handshake and a thank you for all the service that he has done.” said Haver. When Haver finished his speech, all the cadets and the whole crowd arose and gave applause to his awe-inspiring speech. 

Haver also explained that with the approval of the legislation public law 380 on June 1, 1954, November 11 became the official day to celebrate veterans of all wars. Since this took place after the second world war, this event became known as Veterans Day to all and spread quickly throughout the world. 

Among the accomplishments of former principal and veteran, Haver previously ran for mayor of Fort Smith. Haver touched on losing to his best friend and current mayor: George McGill. Haver claimed he only lost by one vote and also mentioned that he later figured out that his wife had voted for his friend. Although he is no longer the principal, his legacy, along with the memory of all other veterans, still lives on at Southside.