By Ava Rogers
Veterans Day Chapel has been a tradition at Christian for as long as we can remember.
It is one of the special ways that our school pays tribute to not just all who have served, but also to the veteran families that are affiliated with us. On November 8th 2023, Staff Sergeant Keni Thomas came to speak to us about his place in Task Force Ranger, an elite special operations
package that took place in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. This operation’s mission consisted of
finding and capturing a criminal warlord named Mohamed Farrah Aidid. On October 3rd, 1993,
Keni and his rangers engaged in warfare for eighteen hours that is now recounted as the
prominent book and movie Black Hawk Down.
Keni centers his message with the Rangers’ Motto: Rangers lead the way. As he begins his message, he states that “leadership is the example we set for the people we serve.” Keni reflects on his specific rank in the army and how it changed his perspective of what setting and example for someone actually consists of. He explains how we believe that setting the example is surrounded around us doing our absolute best and expecting others to follow our “perfect” example. However, he explains his revelation with this concept through the story of his comrade, David Floyd. He reminds students that we need to pour everything into others and that we are just as strong as our weakest link. There are very few things we go through alone, he states, “In the sooner that we can all come to the grip of the fact that it's happening to us, when hard times hit us, it’s happening to the people around us too.” It is true that many of us don’t want to do the hard thing, because it's hard, and we result in believing that other people should take the stage. However he counters this by explaining how we don’t need people making noise, but rather people to do something and this encourages each of us to participate in making a difference for those around us and in our community. Finally he says that young people today are great at selling themselves short. He ties his entire message in with Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” To conclude his message, he sang his most famous song, “Not Me.” Along with this we had beautiful performances from our Christian Junior High High School Band and Choir performing patriotic songs to honor this country and our Veterans.