Students find unique way to show respect Detroit Jesuit High School volunteers serve as pallbearers at a funeral of a homeless military veteran at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Students find unique way to show respect
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Students at University of Detroit Jesuit High School are encouraged to become "men for others."
 
Some who attend the all-boys Catholic prep school are taking that tenet to heart and putting it into action by taking on a volunteer experience that has them serving as pallbearers at the funerals of homeless men and women.
 
More than 50 signed up to be pallbearers.
 
Six students recently kicked off the project by carrying the caskets of three homeless military veterans during services at Great Lakes National Cemetery, an hour's drive north of Detroit.
 
The men, whose bodies went unclaimed at the county morgue, had served in the Army, Air Force and Marines.
 
Senior Lenny Froehlich was among the students wearing white gloves and matching school ties who toted the flag-draped caskets at the Veterans Affairs cemetery in Holly Township.
 
"We kind of represent the family that is not here to be with them. And that is, I think, a privilege," he said after the first of the funerals.
 
Three weeks earlier, Froehlich and the other two students heading up the project led a training session in the school's chapel, outlining the program for students and faculty members.
 
The project was conceived by students in the school's Ignatian Service Corps, or service team, as a way to better serve the community. It is similar to a program at another Jesuit high school, St. Ignatius, in Cleveland.
 
"I think for the young men here at U of D, it teaches them the value and dignity of life at all levels," said Todd Wilson, the school's director of service.
 
Kevin Desmond, a funeral director at A.J. Desmond & Sons, said additional staff members typically are brought in to serve as pallbearers at services for the homeless. It is a duty University of Detroit Jesuit students now can fulfill.
 
"To be able to recognize that need, to offer this respect, is really a testament to these gentlemen and also just the community and spirit here at U of D Jesuit," Desmond said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did students wear white gloves and matching school ties?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (31)
  • sierrab-ste
    11/09/2015 - 04:39 p.m.

    This is such a great thing. More people need to be doing things like this and our world would become a much better place. I'm so glad the younger generation is doing better things and becoming more caring.

  • sieversi1-gau
    11/10/2015 - 01:42 p.m.

    This is good that more than 50 people have stepped up to be pallbearers

  • robertsa1-gau
    11/10/2015 - 02:26 p.m.

    To show respect and honor U of D Jesuit. Also because they probably wanted to look the same for the funerals.

  • pedersenb1-gau
    11/10/2015 - 02:30 p.m.

    they were matching ties not white

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    11/10/2015 - 02:34 p.m.

    It was a sign of uniformity and respect to wear the white gloves and matching ties. I think this is such a wonderful way to show respect, showing that nobody is really the "lowest of the low," seeing as everybody has somebody who cares for them.

  • matthewc-day
    11/10/2015 - 05:26 p.m.

    This is a really cool story. I think it is very honorable and noble that these young men are honoring the men and women who have served our country. It is very important that these service men and women finally reach peace after all their time in the Armed Services and then being alone and homeless on the streets. This is a very heartwarming story that in a way restores faith in humanity and shows that young people these days still care and are still willing to volunteer and do what is right.

  • briannec-ste
    11/12/2015 - 03:36 p.m.

    I think it amazing, what these boys are doing. Everyone deserves someone who cares about them and honors them. Especially if they served the country we live in.

  • tylerl-day
    11/16/2015 - 02:57 p.m.

    I wish respect was easily taught. If it was, more parents wouldn't be skipping out on that part of life. I always find it funny when some teenagers my own age act with so much disrespect. Then again, I too have been that way before.

  • noahi-fel
    11/18/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    Because they are a sign of uniformity and respect

  • coled-fel
    11/18/2015 - 02:16 p.m.

    CTQ: The wore white gloves and matching school ties because they wanted to show what school they were from, and so they could represent said school at the funerals.

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