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The Cat's Eye

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The Cat's Eye

Honoring those who served with the 17th annual Rancho Remembers

Luciana Martin
At Rancho Remembers, many US Veterans spoke to hundreds of RCHS students about their time in the service.

On Thursday, April 25, the Rancho Cucamonga High School gymnasium transformed into a verbal library filled with stories from military Veterans about their experiences in the Vietnam War, the Afghanistan War, or World War II. RCHS students were encouraged and invited to converse with Veterans to talk about their time in the service and how their time impacted their lives. 

Vietnam Veteran Christopher Rowe shares his story with three RCHS students. (Luciana Martin )

The event occurred in the gym during school hours, from 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. More than 650 students attended the event and had the opportunity to speak with a Veteran.

“I enjoy what the Veterans had to say about their time serving,” RCHS sophomore Eddie Carver said. “I liked everything I learned. It was really informational.”

Rancho Remembers is a time-honored tradition at RCHS. In 2008, the first-ever Rancho Remembers event was held. The event was inspired by a significant factor in the lives of Mr. Robert Sanchez, RCHS Assistant Principal of Educational Services, and RCHS history teacher Mr. Aaron Bishop’s lives.

“A lot of different people in my family have served in the military. The idea initially came to me when I first started at Rancho Cucamonga Mr.Bishop and I shared a classroom,” Sanchez said.

A Pew Research Center study found that over 61% of Americans have immediate family currently involved or have served in the military. 

Before becoming an assistant principal, Sanchez shared a classroom with Bishop during their time teaching together. 

“When we shared a classroom, his wife’s grandfather was a World War 2 bomber pilot,” Sanchez said. “We gave him a space to share his story with a younger generation. When he passed away we started to do more research and found out that over 1,000 World War II Veterans died a day in 2008, it gave us the idea to start Rancho Remembers to preserve their stories.”

From a recent census held by the National World War Two Museum, only around 119,000 Veterans who served in World War Two are still alive as of 2023.

One of the four World War II Veterans in attendance at Rancho Remembers participates in an interview with a reporter from the local newspaper. (Luciana Martin)

Creating a space for Veterans to tell their stories acts as a way of preserving a perspective of American history. This year at Rancho Remembers, only four World War II Veterans were in attendance.

“We had a staff member whose father never spoke about his experiences as a Veteran due to what he had gone through along with the PTSD he was affected with,” Sanchez said.

Allowing Veterans to talk about the experience they faced when they returned from war and were on active duty allows them to come to terms with what they faced and how it affected their livelihood. 

“He visited Rancho Remembers as a friend one year and just being able to hear everyone else share their stories allowed him to open up about his story for the first time to his son,” Sanchez said. “He felt safe enough to tell his story after the event, I feel like that provides a therapeutic experience for the Veterans to open up and share their stories. We help them in that way.” 

Rancho Remembers has been running for 17 years; the longevity of this event can be attributed to the support and interest not only from RCHS students and staff but also from the surrounding communities.

Rancho Remembers is a platform that offers a unique opportunity to listen to personal stories from Veterans that aren’t included in traditional textbooks. Through these events, students expand their knowledge beyond the textbooks and find a deeper appreciation for the stories told. 

A gold plated eagle atop a flag pole with a blurred background of an American flag (Luciana Martin)
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About the Contributors
Luciana Martin
Luciana Martin, Media Manager
Luciana Martin Is a senior at RCHS , this is her second year in journalism and her first year managing media and photography for The Cat’s Eye. When she Isn’t working on writing articles Martin enjoys collect new records for her collection and learning her favorite songs on her guitar. Martins favorite thing about journalism is getting to elaborate on subjects she finds interesting and learning about others' experiences in life and seeing different perspectives on topics. What do you plan to do after High School? After Highschool Luciana plans on majoring in journalism , specifically entertainment and music journalism with a minor in music mainly focusing in sound technician. What is your Zodiac sign? Luciana is a Gemini with a moon in Leo and Sagittarius rising sign. Luciana does believe that traits of the zodiac do effect aspects of our personalties types in some ways.
Isabella Moran
Isabella Moran, Asst. Editor in Chief

Isabella Moran is a senior at RCHS, and this is her second year in journalism. She is the assistant-editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Cat’s Eye. Her favorite thing about journalism is creating Scrappy and being in a position to influence her classmates in a positive way. When she is not working on the school paper, Moran is hanging out with her boyfriend, stressing about AP Art Studio, and listening to Tyler, the Creator. 

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