A small group of sophomores and the entire senior class traveled to Glenwood Cemetery for the Remembrance Wreath Project on December 1, 2022. This year, Shelbyville High School manufactured 210 evergreen wreaths to place on the gravesites of local veterans. While in the cemetery, the students identify gravesites, place wreaths, restore tombstones, participate in a Civil War Scavenger Hunt, and listen to a local history tour.
We want to thank No Bad Days Farm and the local VFW. Their unwavering support of this service learning experience makes the project possible. Others who deserve recognition include: Kelli Black (teacher), Sean Welch (teacher), Tim Aberle (teacher), John Tynan (teacher), Kyle Ladd (principal), and Drake Martz (cemetery sexton).
The Remembrance Wreath Project has been featured on WEIU, WAND, and within multiple area newspapers in year’s past. Beyond being a unique learning experience, it often offers much more to those involved. Honoring and respecting veterans is at the heart of this project, but the therapeutic impact provided is often an underappreciated element within the overall experience. Often, we witness students visiting the gravesites of grandparents, parents, relatives, personal acquaintances, friends, and family. Witnessing them take the time, and tell their own story is always a touching tribute.
Altogether, the Remembrance Wreath Project gives our educators an opportunity to tell the story of Shelbyville, and the people who lived within this wonderful town. The prevailing theme and message for the day is always centered upon the significant impact a person can have within a small town. But, perhaps of greater importance, the experience allows for our student population to have a mature conversation about the concepts associated with death and dying. In addition to the stories told, we often learn of the personalized history of each individual student and their family. For that, we remain forever thankful.