Disgrace: A Uniform Not Good Enough To Wear To A High School Graduation, Even If You Proudly Wear It To Serve Your Country
[guest post by Dana]
A young Marine from New Hampshire, Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, 19, was one of three U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb Friday morning. Only last year, Brandon Garabrant was graduating from high school.
What makes this story particularly awful is that this fine young man had requested permission to wear his uniform to his commencement exercises. His request had been turned down by school officials. At the time of his request, they attempted to justify their denial:
School officials say they have spoken with the student council, as well as with faculty members with military experience or who have family in the military.
The consensus is that all students should dress alike, and no one should be singled out.
“I think this is a celebration of a class much like a celebration of a team, a group that’s been together,” said Principal Brian Pickering.
Several school officials, including a member of the graduation committee, met with WBZ-TV today.
They say they are thrilled with Brandon’s accomplishment but say graduation is about unity.
There is also concern that if an exception is made, it will open up the door to other requests down the road.
“You begin to wonder where to draw the line,” said Pickering.
Upon hearing of Lance Cpl. Garabrant’s death, Governor Maggie Hassan released a statement:
The entire State of New Hampshire is devastated by the tragic loss of Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant, who was bravely serving his nation in Afghanistan. Our service men and women courageously sacrifice every day to protect their fellow citizens and defend the enduring value of freedom that is our very core, and in doing so, Lance Corporal Garabrant made the ultimate sacrifice.
Garabrant’s high principal also released a statement on behalf of the school:
On behalf of the entire ConVal community I extend my deepest sympathy to Brandon’s family and friends. We are all shocked and deeply saddened by his passing and we are incredibly grateful for his service to our country.
Suffice it to say, I’m at a loss over this and will only note that the New Hampshire state motto is: Live free or die.