WTMS’s Patriotism Shines During FOX Military Parade

Amanda Tague

McKenzie+Holmes+shows+off+her+homemade+sign+to+honor+US+active+military+and+veterans.

Amanda Tague

McKenzie Holmes shows off her homemade sign to honor US active military and veterans.

 In support of our country’s military, SGA members of WTMS attended the Fox 29 Salutes the Military Parade located on the 300 block of Market Street in Philadelphia. The trip took place on September 27, 2019, and was planned by Ms.Donohue and the Fox 29 event coordinators.

   “I think we owe our military  a lot,” Student Government advisor, Ms. Donohue, claims, “and they don’t always get the appreciation that they deserve. I think that developing our citizenship and patriotism is something that [our] school should play a role in.”

   Students arrived at the WTMS cafeteria by 5:30 am with their patriotic outfits and posters to take group pictures and get ready for the parade. They departed at approximately 6:00 am and arrived at Market Street for the parade close to an hour later.

“I did enjoy the trip,” Donohue stated. “It’s actually my favorite day of the year. I enjoy it because we get to leave early [in the morning for the trip] and see all the different branches of the military [at the parade] and the students get to enjoy the day as well.”

Upon SGA’s arrival to the event, members were able to divide into groups and walk through Market Street to see stands set up representing different branches of the armed forces. The event was also filled with different members of the armed forces for peers to interact with and learn from. For everyone’s safety, Market Street was blocked off for the event and guarded by officials. Students enjoyed the live music played by the band, “The Strangers” and  free food samples such as Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries and Rita’s water ice. 

What I learned on the trip is don’t think that the military men and women aren’t there to protect us just because. They’re protecting us because they want to.”

— McKenzie Holmes

Even more activities that were available during the parade included a virtual reality air force experience booth, a tour inside of a U.S Coast Guard boat, pull-up contests, the National Guard rock wall, and plenty more. Those who attended were also able to witness the Air Force, Marines, and Navy’s joint swearing-in ceremony as well as the C-17 flyover.

“The most interesting part of the trip was when I got to go onto [the coast guard boat],” Holmes stated, “… you got to see the control room and each part [of the boat].”

After the parade, the student government ventured through the Benjamin Franklin Museum nearby where students learned more about Franklin’s life and his important work in society through interactive exhibits. Following the museum, members went to a nearby park to eat their packed lunches and made their way to the Independence Visitor Center to explore the gift shop and take a few final pictures. They made their way back to school by 1:30 pm.

“My favorite part about the Benjamin Franklin Museum was when we got to touch most of the [exhibits] and play around with them,” Holmes stated. “There were a lot of hands on activities there.”

The trip was planned by Donohue and Fox 29 coordinators. Every year, she gets an email from the news publisher about the event and the trip is planned from there. The event was chosen for SGA members because it related to the American government and military.

“Student government students are our future leaders and they are the ones that strive to be model citizens and they strive to be members of the school community so that’s why they were deserving of this trip,” Donohue stated.

According to Ms. Donohue, Holmes, and seventh grade SGA member, Gabriella Rabinowitz, the overall feedback of the trip was positive and most students who attended agreed that they would go on the trip again. Many students favored the free food samples and live music at the parade They also enjoyed learning and interacting with our country’s military and thought that the experience was beneficial and educational.

“I think [the students did] enjoy the trip for several reasons,” claimed Donohue. “I think it was nice for them to see the patriotism and the different branches of the military and what goes into our country’s military. Then they were definitely intrigued by the different samples [of food] and the music. It was a nice atmosphere.”