On November 11th, Belmont Hill started off with its signature Veteran’s day chapel as a time to honor the people who have served this country, and while most schools choose to show respect by having a day off, Belmont Hill takes the opportunity to have a special school chapel. This chapel enables the people at Belmont Hill to think deeply about Veterans day and what it means to them and not just take a day off from school. During these chapels, Belmont Hill always gets the pleasure of welcoming many alumni and guest speakers to talk about their experiences in service to the country and what Veteran’s Day means to them.
This year, Commander Pete Firenze, from the Class of 1997 spoke about his call to service and his thoughts about every Veteran’s day. He mentioned how he wanted to join the United States military from a very young age. He talked about his personal stories from teachers and coaches at Belmont Hill and what they did to help better prepare him to become the man he is. Commander Firenze even mentioned some obstacles that hindered his ability to join the army. Another factor he mentioned was how Belmont Hill’s athletic program helped him formulate his leadership abilities, which helped him stand out amongst his peers in the army. The commander also talked about many anecdotes from his time serving, and he made a point of starting with “so there I was” to increase the immersion and make fun of the cliche saying. One memorable story was his mission in Italy, where he had the chance to sit in the white helicopter of Pope Francis himself! Following this chapel, Commander Firenze took the opportunity to tour the campus while classes were in session, showing his face from room to room and re-familiarising himself with the school.