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Legion XIII

The Legion of Thirteen at Liberty Common School is a special recognition given to students who have attended the school for thirteen consecutive years. This induction ceremony takes place annually on January 10th. The name "Legion of Thirteen" is inspired by the Thirteenth Legion, one of the Roman legions commanded by General Julius Caesar during the first Century BC.

During this time, the Roman Senate imposed restrictions on its generals, preventing them from entering Rome while armed. Julius Caesar, who had gained popularity and recognition as a great battlefield hero, fell out of favor with the Senate and was effectively banished from Rome. Faced with the decision of whether to wage a civil war against the Roman Republic, Caesar made a momentous choice on January 10th, 49 BC. He crossed the Rubicon, a river marking the northern boundary of Rome, thus committing himself and his Thirteenth Legion to an act of defiance and armed insurrection against the Republic.

The phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has since become a metaphor for making a significant commitment or taking decisive action, beyond the point of no return.  The Legion of Thirteen serves as a testament to the students' long-standing commitment to Liberty Common School and recognizes their journey of thirteen years within the educational community.

painting of Cesear crossing the river Rubicon
photo of the Legion of XIII banner


It is recorded Caesar made a comment to inspire his Legion as the river crossing began – Alea iacta est which is translated as “The die is cast.”  Casting dice entails risk taking.  It is an indication of boldness and courage.  It also implies consequential action.  One initiates the rolling of the dice by his own hand.  In proclaiming “Alea iacta est,” Caesar was effectively saying, “today we initiate a bold and courageous rebellion, the outcome of which cannot be certain.” 
The symbol of the Thirteenth Legion was the lion.  The lion is depicted holding a red key. Rubicon comes from the Latin adjective rubeus which means “red.” In hindsight, just crossing the River Rubicon turned out to be the most defining moment in his victory over the Roman Senate and the end of the collapse of the Roman Republic.  It was the key to Caesar’s victory, and it was accomplished by the proficiency and loyalty of Caesars’s Thirteenth Legion.  

Challenge Keys

Each year, the esteemed members of the Legion of XIII honor a tradition by visiting elementary-school campuses to bestow white challenge keys upon all kindergarten students. This ceremonial act serves as a symbolic gesture encouraging these young learners to embark on a lifelong journey of education, culminating in their graduation from Liberty Common School and subsequent induction into the esteemed ranks of the Legion of XIII.

At the heart of this tradition lies a commitment to instilling the values of dedication and pursuit of knowledge within the kindergarten students. By presenting them with white challenge keys, the seniors challenge these young minds to embrace the joys of continuous learning and strive for excellence throughout their academic journey. 

When these kindergarteners progress through their educational milestones and eventually reach their graduation from Liberty Common School, they gather to commemorate their induction into the Legion of XIII. At this momentous event, the students part ways with their white challenge keys, returning them in exchange for the revered LEGIO XIII red key. This distinctive emblem, worn with pride during the graduation ceremony, serves as a testament to their dedication, perseverance, and successful completion of their educational endeavors.

kindergarten key ceremony