Blythewood JROTC participates in Columbia Veterans Day Parade

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BHS JROTC participates in Veterans Day parade in Columbia, South Carolina.

Savannah Miller

Blythewood High School’s JROTC participated in the Veterans Day parade on Monday, November 11th in downtown Columbia. Veterans from across the state were honored Monday morning during the City of Columbia’s 41st Annual Veterans Day Parade. This is the 14th year JROTC has participated. 

Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day. It was first declared on November 11, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson a year after the end of World War I. At first, it was to celebrate the soldiers who died during the war, but now this day is used to celebrate all military members. 

There are over 18.2 million veterans today.  ABC Columbia stated, “veterans from across the state will be honored Monday, November 11, during the City of Columbia’s 41st Annual Veterans Day Parade. The annual celebration starts at 11 am at the intersection of Sumter and Laurel streets and continues down Sumter Street to Pendleton Street. It is one of the southeast’s largest Veterans Day parades.”

JROTC cadet Kenneth Peeple said, “the Veterans Day parade was packed. There were so many people from all over South Carolina and so many different schools came to participate. The schools that participated were EAU Claire, Westwood High School, and many more. The parade started at 11 am and was about an hour and 30 minutes long. We celebrated current military members and veterans.”

JROTC cadet Trinity Mull said, “During the parade, there were many cadets marching. There were veterans, military people who are now serving, and firefighters. We recited the Bengal battalion motto twice, marched and said cadenced the whole route.” 

Sergeant Bell, one of the Blythewood High School JROTC instructors, said, “We want to show our appreciation to our veterans and teach our cadets that their freedom is at the expense of others. To be able to honor those who are sacrificing or have sacrificed even the ultimate sacrifice could never be repaid. So give back when you can.” from this experience, he hopes that his students understand that, “The price of freedom is not particular free. Service to our country is not just a title but it going beyond the call of everyday duty.”  

Blythewood JROTC received strong support from the community and in this instance the VFW provided lunch and a tremendous amount of compliments on the professionalism and conduct of the cadets. 

Blythewood JROTC recognizes the importance of celebrating the veterans that serve and protect our country, and they demonstrated this respect by participating in the parade. Sergeant Bell stated, “Everyone is worth it.”