by Katie Arvia
LANSING, Ill. (October 2017) – On May 27, 2017, TF South’s new Wall of Honor was officially dedicated. The wall serves as a memorial to TF South alumni who served in the military after graduating. Currently displaying over 500 names, the Wall of Honor has been a joint effort amongst teachers, students, and the Lansing community.
Chris Roberts, TF South’s Social Studies teacher and sponsor of The History Club and Mock Trial, has been directly involved with the wall, beginning with its conception four years ago.
Honoring the past
“We were talking about a way to kind of remember at least the veterans who served from South,” Roberts said. “We had previous plaques that were here for them, but we wanted something that unified all of them, so we decided to go with kind of a new wall that would have a cohesiveness between all the different memorials.”
The Wall of Honor, which is displayed in the school’s front lobby, currently has 10 plaques honoring veterans from each branch of the military, as well as individual plaques for those who were killed in action.
Inspiring the future
While the main goal of the wall is to honor TF South alumni veterans, Roberts also hopes the wall can serve as a learning tool for students. The wall allows current pupils to learn about past TF South students and the sacrifices they made. Roberts wants his students to remember the men and women who served the country and discuss the subject with their peers. Because the Wall of Honor is a permanent fixture of the school, the learning will continue with future students.
In fact, students have been directly involved with the project since day one. La-Wedia Washington, a senior at TF South, has been a member of The History Club since her freshman year. Since then, she has helped find more names to add to the Wall of Honor.
“We’ve been going around Lansing asking different people, like the American Legion, to help us find people who graduated from TF South that went into the military,” Washington said. Washington has personal connections to the military as well. She said it is important to recognize those who have protected our country.
Roberts hopes that students who assisted with the project feel some pride in their efforts. “Hopefully it’s something that the students can be proud of in the future,” he said. “The ones that participated in the project, and hopefully the students that eventually will be on that wall.”
The wall, which just added a new plaque with 25 Army veterans, continues to grow.
Members of the community are encouraged to visit the wall during school hours. All guests entering the school will need to stop at the front desk to sign in first.
“Hopefully, as a community, we can build more also,” Roberts said. “This is just another step to connecting the community with the school.”
If you or someone you know is a TFS alumni veteran and would a name added to the Wall of Honor, contact Chris Roberts at [email protected].