Perhaps rather than banning the 21 Gun Salute, it would have been appropriate for the school district to use it, as our President often likes to say, as a teachable moment. Contrary to popular belief by the hyper-sensitive in our society, the salute designates not an act of war, but rather, peaceful intentions.
Apparently, some parents complained to the school council – it’s not clear how many – but the town’s 80 year old tradition has now been cancelled. Well, maybe not cancelled, Veterans and those who want to celebrate can move down to the local Burger King parking lot, where the 21 gun salute has been authorized.
Kaye Olsen, vice president of the Eau Claire Patriotic Council, which organizes the program, said she hoped to reach a compromise with the school district, but that none could be reached to accommodate the weapons. “It’s really hard to tell the veterans they’re not allowed to bring those rifles in,” she said, especially because “the only purpose is to honor our flag and our country and teach the kids.” (source)
Tim Leibham, from the Eau Claire Area School District, said, “We do have veteran programs virtually in all of our schools on veterans day. We have had in the past.”
But, with scheduling conflicts and parents, who were concerned about a 21 gun salute, the school district had to put to rest a long time tradition that has been in place since the early 1930s.
Leibham said, “It was just this one presentation that was longer in length. It was 60 to 90 minutes. Specifically, we had children who either had an adverse reaction to the noise or precluded from being a part of the ceremony. We thought the needs of our children in our schools to be able to participate in those school activities would outweigh the 21 gun salute.” (WQOW)