Saluting the Brave


Ari Felhandler

On Saturday, May 28th the Interact Club of West Bloomfield paid tribute to the brave men and women who have served the country and others who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending America by visiting the Pine Lake Cemetery. Interact Club members made the tiny sacrifice of not sleeping in to make sure that the country’s heroes are gone, but never forgotten. They felt as though it was especially important to visit the graves of departed soldiers who may not have any friends or family visiting their graves. When the members arrived at the cemetery, they were overcome by how serene and patriotic the scenery was. Walking around and thinking about what it would have been like serving in World War I, World War II, or Vietnam had an emotional and profound impact on all of the volunteers. It was obvious that the volunteers were trying to guess what story or secrets were held in each grave. The volunteers immediately started gathering flags and walking around placing the symbol of freedom at each grave of a fallen veteran. Just a small token of kindness to show society what a special individual it takes to bravely serve their country.


The Interact Club, a branch off of the world renowned Rotary Club, serves as a comforting presence in the community. Whether it is satisfying a need or an act of support for society, the Interact Club is always there to deliver its helping hand. The Interact Club has been very active this year. Some of the special and exciting events include making Halloween cards for patients at the Heartland Rehabilitation Center, volunteering at food banks, collecting canned foods for local food drives, making Valentines cards for Blessings in a Backpack, collecting books for the Detroit Moving Library, and raising money for the Sunderji’s Special Needs school in Pune, India. There is no better way to interact and make a difference in your community, than to join and participate in the gracious and generous deeds of the Interact Club of West Bloomfield.


When Interact Club members were asked about their experiences in the club, they gave an overwhelming positive response.


Blake Rubenstein (sophomore) stated, “I enjoyed commemorating people who served our country. It felt great to appreciate so many courageous men and women who fought for our nation. It’s important to do community service in order to give back to people. There are so many wonderful actions community members partake in, and it feels great to reciprocate. I truly feel like I have not just changed my life, but someone else’s as well. The highlight of my time volunteering was knowing that I helped better someone else’s life. I also loved seeing how happy everyone else was to aid the veterans.”


Lauren Berman (sophomore) reflected, “The best thing I liked about volunteering at the cemetery was knowing that our club was doing something special in our community to remember our veterans. I also think remembering them on Memorial Day weekend was a really great way to celebrate the holiday and those who fought for our country. To me it is very important to stay involved with community service because everyone can always learn and grow from their experiences. Whether you volunteer at a hospital, a school, or a cemetery, you are constantly learning more about yourself and others as well as strengthening your community and making a difference one small step at a time. The highlight of my time volunteering at the cemetery was learning about my community members’ history and gaining a new sense of appreciation for those who fought for our country and those who continue to serve today.”


Alaina Clements (sophomore) added, “What I enjoyed the most about volunteering at the cemetery was being able to commemorate those who served and fought for our country. I also thought it was a great way to celebrate Memorial Day by remembering those veterans. I think it is important to remain active with these kinds of community services because it is a great way to give back to our community and also improve it. It also helps us grow as a person and learn new life lessons. The highlight of my time volunteering was being able to go around and look at what war each Veteran had severed in. It helped me see that the wars that we learned about in history class had a major affect on our community as well.”


Ethan Mathews (sophomore) exclaimed, “It is a club which brings an active youthful group together in order to benefit the public in as many ways as they can throughout the year, whether it be assisting the elderly, providing time at soup kitchens, or even raising money for school supplies.”


Rossteen Abbasi (junior) concluded, “As a child I have been looking for ways to help the world become a safer and peaceful place, as I traveled the world I’ve seen third world countries that had people starving and worrying if they had enough food to eat just to survive as I wondered for a solution I thought maybe I cannot help these people now, but in the future I could. When I joined Interact Club, it started my journey to this one goal helping others and really helping make the world a better place see we might start small by helping locally. We are also going big by doing international projects to help schools in need, so the real reason I joined interact club is to embark on this journey to help the world be a safer more peaceful place.”