After 80 years of upholding a Veteran’s Day tradition, the Eau Claire School District in Wisconsin has decided to put an end to its 21-gun salute. Concerns from parents and students were brought to the school district earlier this year, and in late October it was decided that the event would be cancelled. School district official Tim Liebham said, "the shooting of guns [on school premises], even with blanks, is something we don't feel is appropriate."
The concerns reportedly come from the recent school shootings we have seen in the United States. Since the Newtown shooting there have been a recorded 87 school shootings in our country.
However, not everyone agrees that this 80-year-old tradition should have been banned. Kaye Olsen, vice president of Eau Claire Patriotic Council, which organizes the program, commented, “It's really hard to tell the veterans they're not allowed to bring those rifles in,” especially because “the only purpose is to honor our flag and our country and teach the kids."
Olsen went on to tell an NBC local affiliate, “Now, as the last few years have gone on, with the school shootings and everything, it’s getting harder to do our veterans programs like we want to. I was hoping maybe we could find a compromise, but when it comes to the weapons, there was no compromise.”
The closest compromise that could be made was to move the 21-gun-salute segment of the event to a nearby Burger King parking lot this morning. Other than that, Olsen is correct is stating that a compromise couldn’t be made when it came to bringing firearms into the school.