The Crossing Chronicle

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Art Department Honors Veterans With Portraits

Hannah Johnson
Students created portraits of veterans as a way of honoring them for their service to the United States. Teacher Hannah Johnson hopes to continue this program so that it becomes an established tradition.

Veterans have fought for Americans and helped them to get the freedoms that are enjoyed today.  During November, veterans are honored and celebrated because of all they have done for others. Honoring veterans can happen through writing cards, or hanging up flags, and shows our veterans they are supported and respected. This year the Great Crossing High School art teacher Hannah Johnson chose a unique way of celebrating Veteran’s day by having art students select a veteran, get in contact with them, and then make portraits of them. 

“Students were asked to locate a veteran that they could draw. This could be someone in their family or someone they know. Students were asked to interview any of the living participants or close family members of the veteran,” Ms. Johnson explained.

This project was aimed to show how different a veteran’s experience can be. The portraits helped to capture the story of each single veteran. “This veteran portrait project is a creative and meaningful endeavor that aims to capture the stories and experiences of military veterans through portrait drawing. The project seeks to honor and celebrate the lives of veterans, showcasing the diversity of their backgrounds, roles, and contributions to our community and/or each student’s family,” Johnson expressed. 

This project can be emotional for some as they look back at memories and to see themselves in that time, or to just think about others they have lost. Junior  Ashley Rose chose to do her father’s portrait and acknowledged it was a powerful experience. Rose shared, “I think this means a lot to my father. He always loves when I get to draw him something and never seems to get enough of it. I think this sent my dad the message that you mean a lot to our family even if you are a pain.”

Although this project was able to reach other veterans and help to reconnect and remember what they did and went through, it helped connect others to family. Junior Ava DeGise chose to draw her grandfathers Charles Dolan and Richard DeGise. DeGise expressed, “I thoroughly enjoyed this project. I felt that it allowed me to connect with them.”

After the portraits were completed, students were asked to invite the veteran they chose to draw or one close family member to view the portraits on November 13th at Great Crossing High School. 

This project was overall a huge success, and was something that GCHS plans to continue. “I would love to do this project again. I received positive feedback from those who came to view the portraits. Students were able to learn about veterans that they are close to, and appreciate the sacrifice that was made. I hope the veterans who were featured feel honored,” Johnson stated.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Angel, Staff Reporter
Hannah is a sophomore at GCHS.  She enjoys spending time with friends, outdoor activities and shopping.

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  • K

    Kristy JohnsonDec 6, 2023 at 8:35 am

    This project deserves this recognition. Fantastic job on this topic. Thank you for writing this.

  • A

    Annette ManliefDec 6, 2023 at 7:25 am

    I think this project is absolutely amazing. So happy to see it covered in our school paper!