My family fully supports the request made by the Southridge High School community that the football field at SRHS be named in honor of our community’s true American hero, Andrew J. Keller.

As the parents of two SRHS graduates who were both involved in athletics and activities, we know and understand the process our young people go through in maturing and growing into the responsible members of our society that we raise and encourage them to be.

On the football field, a bonding occurs, not just for and in football players, but also in cheer, dance, band, soccer, lacrosse, track. These young people practice and sweat together. They learn teamwork and the importance of camaraderie and trust. They learn success in every win and celebration, and recoup losses with determination and perseverance. Through this process, they bond as a team and grow into community, as do their parents and families who join them in the stands to support and encourage.

Our memories are many, and our bond is strong. Our children grow into young adults here. They learn to be responsible, work hard towards a common goal, to accept defeat humbly and get back to practice harder so the next game, meet or challenge will result in a win. Our children learn life skills and create lasting friendships on that football field. They have experienced great successes, and we have mourned a major loss.

Community has been built and respect earned on this SRHS football field. It is fitting and understandable that with the ultimate sacrifice given by one of Southridge High School’s own 2008 graduate, Andrew J. Keller, that the community has requested the honor of placing his name above our field. It is with this symbolic gesture and enormous pride in our own that this community has come together with this request to memorialize our very own American hero.

Our family defines an American hero as a person who selflessly gives of themself, who bravely stands in harm’s way — for me and for all of you. The men and women in our United States military do just this daily, 24/7, and they do it under the most distressing circumstances. These men and women stand up for you and for me — for our families — and the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy and oftentimes take for granted like our freedom to gather to discuss this issue/decision, the freedom to speak without worry of retaliation, the choices that we make every single day and rarely stop to think or be thankful for the ability to make these decisions.

The price of these freedoms is not free. Our men and women of the U.S. military pay dearly for these freedoms and liberties that we cherish. They pay for them on a daily basis with their sweat, determination, pride, and for some, their lives.

We believe in American heroes, and we believe they should be duly honored as such. One of our own SRHS graduates has given the ultimate sacrifice, his life, while fighting to defend your freedoms and mine. No degree of “information” or “research” gathered by the Beaverton School District board members is going to change this fact — the Southridge High School community, and the United States of America, has lost yet another American soldier to the war in Afghanistan.

Andrew died defending our country and our freedoms. Our SRHS community is requesting the honor and privilege of placing Andrew J. Keller’s name above our football field as a forever remembrance of this very brave soldier, son, friend and student. Our football field is where community is built, where lives and character are formed, where leaders are grown and come together to serve their communities and country.

We would request that the Beaverton School District make the right, the just and morally correct American decision and re-write BSD policy and ARs to allow the SRHS community their request in honoring their true American hero, Andrew J. Keller.

One additional request, please take a minute from your busy day, every day, to remember our men and women of the U.S. military — to pray for their safety, pray for their families and give your thanks for their service.

Laurie Fiebich submitted this letter to the Beaverton School Board on behalf of her family.

Contract Publishing

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