Veterans to be Honored in New School Addition

World War II (WWII) is a war that nearly everyone in the country knows of, but not everyone knows who locally fought in that war, nor do they know where those veterans came from.    

History and psychology teacher Bill Kerr and his classes made it their mission to find and to honor the local WWII veterans who have passed on.

The idea of making a veteran wall listing names and background information  in the high school renovation came to Kerr during the summer when he visited the Glen Rock Veterans Memorial.

“Over the summer, I started doing a little bit of research,” Kerr said. “I contacted the Glen Rock Historical Society [in the] fall and this spring, and I met with them, but the very first thing I did is I went down to the Veterans Memorial… and they have plaques of the soldiers that died that lived in Glen Rock from all the different wars from World War I, World War II [and] Vietnam.” 

Kerr’s classes are starting with WWll but hope to evenly expand and go and find more local veterans from more wars. 

The veteran wall will have similar components to this current tribute wall.  Photograph by Adin Shenk

One of Kerr’s students, sophomore Jacob Brent feels the veteran wall is a great opportunity for his class.

“I absolutely love [this project] because not many people know history,” Brent said. “By making this wall, we are showing that history didn’t always happen somewhere else away from our little hometown. We, as a community, have been involved with so many things, and by showing that some people from our area went and served in such a big conflict, it really just shows why it was called a World War.”

Brent also explains that the veteran wall helps people remember that freedom is not free.

“…We don’t want to let people forget the sacrifice [these veterans] put into [the nation] we have today and make sure that we remember the good people, but also remember the bad and try to prevent the bad from happening again,” Brent said.

Maher was also able to explain some of the process for finding the veterans and the work that the students are putting in so that they can be remembered.

“I first went to Google and typed in [the veteran’s name] and that really didn’t get me anywhere because apparently there’s a lot of guys with the last name Raver and Jacob,” Maher said. “That led to me …going to find a grave, which I’ve been on before. The grave led me to someone-my great grandfather. I also reached out to a distant cousin and had a conversation with him via phone and pretty much got all of my information from him. I know a lot of other people [in the class] went to a website that lists military descriptions and find a grave as well.”

This is the future commons area of the new school addition where the wall will be. Photograph by Camryn Smyth

It is not certain what the wall will look like exactly, but it’s speculated that the wall will consist of all the names of the people the students find along with a folded flag to honor them.

This project is just a small beginning of what Kerr hopes will become a large inspiration for people to think about the past and to reflect.