By Madison Palmer
The popular holiday is named for St. Valentine was a priest who served during third century Rome. According to Kaboose.com, legend has it that Emperor Claudius II, who ruled Rome during this time, decided that single men made better soldiers than those who were married. Because of this, he outlawed marriage for young men with the intention of building a strong military base. Supposedly, Valentine decided this ruling wasn’t reasonable and chose to perform marriage ceremonies for young couples secretly. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentine’s disobedience, he had him executed! Though this was said to have taken place hundreds of years ago, we celebrate Valentine’s courage and romanticism still today.
Students and staff at Henry Wertheimer Middle School choose to celebrate this February holiday by deeming Wednesday, February 13 as “Love Day” and taking part in classic Valentine’s traditions on February 14th. On “Love Day” everyone is encouraged to wear red, pink, or clothing decorated with hearts, while Valentine’s Day is celebrated with the sending of Skittles and carnations to show friends, teachers and family how much they are cared for. It seems that many at WMS enjoyed the Valentine’s Day festivities. “I think Love Day and Valentine’s Day [celebrations] are very nice and sweet…[students] get to share their feelings…”, says Payton Wilson, a student at Wertheimer. Many students also participated in the exchange of candy, flowers and other treats to show they care.
Another classmate, Sophia Boone spoke of the exchange of dozens of carnations and many bags of Skittles by agreeing, “It shows that you love each other and care about each other. It reminds people that they have someone to rely on…” It seems that many students felt that it was a reminder about how much they are loved. Although it is certainly fun to receive presents, I think that everyone can also agree that it feels good to give presents as well. I think that the love was definitely felt by WMS staff and students during those two days!
After speaking to some classmates, it seems that love carries over to their family as well. I found out that they also enjoy celebrating by creating Valentine’s Day cards for their loved ones and spending quality time together. “I usually just hang out with my family and relax…we [also] give each other presents,” Sydney Billings tells me.
At Wertheimer, we view each other as a secondary family and make it a goal, not just on Valentine’s Day, but each and every day that everyone feels cared for. Wertheimer is a great place to be!