On Veterans Day, the student-driven club Spartans for Heroes added a plaque to the memorial statue near the Emerson entrance to honor fallen Spartan Scott Wirtz ’95. He and Christopher Katzenberger ’98 gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Despite falling snow and freezing temperatures, several students, faculty, and staff members donned the white t-shirt that was specially designed not just for this occasion, but also to raise money for charities that support veterans, active duty military personnel, and first responders. Michael Cutler ’21, founder of Spartans for Heroes, said t-shirt sales at De Smet Jesuit raised approximately $2800.
Special guests at Monday’s ceremony included the Wirtz family, friends, alumni, and the color guard from Navy Reserve Forces-St. Louis, led by Commander Michael Schmid ’95. In response to the tribute, Mrs. Wirtz shared the following note of gratitude, republished here with her permission.
To the Spartans for Heroes and De Smet Students:
This Veterans Day will hold a special memory for the Wirtz Family thanks to the Spartans for Heroes Club.
Your monument is very dignified and we are proud to have Scott’s name included. He would be pleased to know that he will be remembered by fellow “Men for Others.”
Scott’s years at De Smet had a major impact on molding him into the man he became. His concept of brotherhood began at De Smet, preparing him for his years as a Navy SEAL--a concept paramount to their success.
Though he wasn’t exactly a devoted academic and struggled at times to meet the superior standards it requires to be a Spartan, he learned to give his all. I hope Scotty’s life can be an inspiration to you during the years you are privileged to spend at De Smet.
Wishing all of you success during your high school years, and a bright and wonderful future.
With much appreciation,