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Shrine connects students with history

The newly unveiled Freedom Shrine at Springfield High School is more than a showcase for history.

Its documents stand for all senior Stacy Brimmer believes in, and why she also wants to dedicate her life to her country.

“I just want to lead my country and leave a legacy full of pride,” said Brimmer, a member of the high school’s Marine ROTC program. “I want to stand for something.”

Brimmer has enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Delayed Start Entry Program. When she saw the plaques of documents — the 13th Amendment, Declaration of Independence and John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address — going up on the wall at the high school, she said it filled her with pride.

“It symbolizes our freedom and where are roots come from,” she explained.

The documents were retrieved from storage at the former South High School and now will remain on permanent display outside the new school’s library. The ROTC’s color guard assisted in the re-dedication of the display in the new high school Tuesday.

It’s one of 27 Freedom Shrines in Clark County, and contains 28 document reproductions meant to make national history more accessible to future generations, said Larry Sewell, district director of the Exchange Club, which provides the documents to organizations nationwide.

“Freedom is not free,” he said. “If these are the leaders of the future, they must understand why they’re leading.”

Seeing copies of original letters and founding documents, some of which are hand-written, provides more of a sense of history than just reading the words in a text book. Junior Veronica Clos was particularly interested in the Instrument of Surrender document for the Pacific because her family members served in World War II.

“If they hadn’t done what they had done, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” she said. “It’s really cool and I respect the school so much for putting it up.”

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