NHS Unveils Wall of Honor
The Wall of Honor in Nutley High School is a new wall in remembrance of local veterans who gave their lives fighting for United States. This wall was unveiled on November 30, 2018 with the help of Principal Denis Williams, art teachers Ms. Melchionne and, Ms. Lappostato, and Nutley High School students. “The big piece is to remind citizens of the sacrifice men and women made for our freedom. It is important for students to be reminded of this everyday,” said Mr.Williams.
The inspiration for the wall came from a conversation between Mr. Williams and Mr. JD Vick, a JHWMS teacher and advisor to the Patriots Club. Mr. Williams talked to Mr.Vick and the history club about Nutley’s unique and rich military history. There is long traditional part of service in Nutley that most citizens are not aware of. Mr.Williams was inspired by most local service and also murals in other New Jersey high schools. “I had seen similar pieces in other schools," he said. "That created the drive to work on something here.”
Even though inspiration is part of a plan, organization and staff and student participation was integral to this project. Ms. Melchionne was on of the driving forces behind the wall. She took a lot of her time to think about what the wall should look like. Mr. Williams, Ms. Melchionne, and Mr.Vick discussed what they envisioned and what names they wanted to see on the wall.
While the wall took a few years to materialize from idea to reality, the team kept reminding themselves of the importance to get it done. Now that it is complete, Mr.Williams hopes that students and staff are learning more from the wall than just art. “I would hope it provides context that they should remember things that are important,” Mr.Williams said.
Mr. Williams believes that the wall should be meaningful to people in many ways, from knowing someone's name on the wall to giving gratitude for their service.
Ms. Melchionne was one of the main art teachers who worked on the wall. While taking about a year on the wall to plan, sketch, come up with concepts, paint, and finish up details, it was a learning process. Ms. Melchionne said, “After seeing it completed and getting to show it to some of our local veterans, I learned just how important a simple painting could be to someone. The emotion and gratitude from our veterans was truly humbling."
Even though the project was daunting at times, Ms.Melchionne is ecstatic that all the hard work is being recognized in a positive way.
Laura Serrano, a junior at NHS, was one of the students to work on the wall. “I thought it would be a nice contribute to the school,” Serrano said. While she has only worked on the wall at the end of her sophomore year in June, she enjoyed it.
The Wall of Honor at Nutley High School is a piece of art that will live on for years. It may affect students, staff and veterans differently, but all can learn a lot from the Wall of Honor.