JROTC Commemorates U.S. Prisoners of War

JROTC+Commemorates+U.S.+Prisoners+of+War

The United States has been in many major wars within its history. Throughout the wars, there have been Prisoners of War, otherwise known as POWs. Prisoners of Wars were troops who were lost because of the effects of war, those who died at war, and those kept prisoners in different countries because of war. Hylton has a program where members of ROTC have studied and learned about Prisoners of War, and their legacies, mainly during World War II and those who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and for those who died due to the events of 9/11. Cadet Germain and Cadet Ulloa have described what its like to be part of the program, what they have learned, and how it has affected their lives.

 

The purpose of the program is to honor those who have fought in the wars, those who became Prisoners of War, and a commemoration for those troops, and to gather people from all around to learn about them and make sure they are never forgotten. There are speeches at the commemorations, often times families who are fallen victim to Prisoner of War will come to these speeches and help commemorate them. Cadet Germain says “For all of those who have suffered, or died, or have helped to try to save someone and also suffered at the same time, we will respect them and honor them for all the work they have done, regardless if it is big or small because they are important in our hearts.” Cadet Ulloa says “In the specific POW teams, on the table, we have all these objects that themselves represent different things, so when you make the speech you hold out the candle and you remember something about them or a ribbon, you remember their duties or protection, so everything comes together. The speech is very important to me”

Cadets at the World War II memorial

 

Cadet Germain is new to the POW program this year, he has said that he has already learned a lot and has gotten experience because he already did two speeches. Cadet Ulloa has been part of the program since her freshman year, she did not do many events the first few years regarding the POW speeches, but she is happy that Sargent has been able to get more events for them this year. They do most of their training or preparation for these events after school, it is mostly self-ran by the cadets themselves, saying that it shows the progress they have made in ROTC to be able to work together and be able to do things that have responsibility on their own. Cadet Ulloa says “It’s a commitment, you would have to be there.”

Cadet McMahon and Cadet Ulloa at a POW commemorative speech.

On what is there to learn in the program, is the lesson of reaching out as a community, personal growth, responsibility, and learning to appreciate others on their experiences in the world. The program has history shown of certain POWs whose stories are not often told, and for those who are. The speeches commemorate any POW who have fought for the country or who fought alongside us to get us to the point we are today. Cadet Ulloa says “There’s people who want me to commemorate their loved ones who died in the war, so they would hand me their picture, and during the ceremony, I would hold it up to show who they were. We really want to focus on everyone, all prisoners of war, and all who were in action.”   Cadet Germain says “I’ve felt like I understood a little more than I used to know and to realize that there were people behind the scenes who are not being shown as much, but they also have as much worth as anyone else no matter who they are. It helped us knowing that there was someone behind the scenes who meant something to someone.”

Cadets at the Freedom Flag statue

ROTC is more than just military training or learning how to be strong, it’s also about learning the past and the people who were involved in what helped to shape our modern life so that we could have a life. The program makes you think a lot more of the other side and be thankful and appreciative of those who fought so we can have a future, even if you didn’t know them. The essential bond between history and how we commemorate the heroes of our previous wars seems to be a big thing you think about and learn not only within the program but what you can learn in the class.

Cadet Germain and Cadet Ulloa