Veterans Honored by Local School Districts

Veterans Honored by Local School Districts  

By Paula Green 

         The origins of Veterans Day go back to the end of World War I. On November 11, 1918, the Allied Forces and Germany signed an armistice ending war hostilities. The fighting ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Armistice Day was first celebrated in 1919 under a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson. On October 8, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation.” As a result, the name of this November 11 national holiday was changed to Veterans Day. 

       In honor of this special day, several of our local school districts answered the call and supported our troops – 

       Mars Area Middle School Student Government collected 248 pounds of leftover Halloween candy as part of an annual drive, held Nov. 1-8 to benefit the Operation Gratitude Halloween Candy Give-Back Program. The students delivered the candy to the 377th Engineer Company SFRG (Butler), which will distribute the candy to troops deployed overseas, veterans, and first responders in the form of care packages.     

       Also, on November 11, Mars Area Middle School’s Spirit Club installed a Veterans Day Wall. In October, the club asked the seventh and eighth graders to provide information (name, military branch, dates of service) for any of their family members who have served in the armed forces, both at home and abroad. Club members incorporated the profile and photos into the Honor Wall display near the middle school’s main entrance.  

         The Hampton School District honored nine heroes on November 9 as part of their Hampton Heroes celebration. This is the 20th year for this annual commemoration. The district recognized these veterans at an event held at Fridley Field at Hampton Middle School. 

         On November 11, a special lighting of the luminaries’ ceremony was held amid a sea of flags honoring our nation’s veterans. The event was held at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall as part of their “Fill the Hill” campaign. The event was held at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall as part of their “Fill the Hill” campaign. In addition, the commemoration included a musical tribute dedicated to all who have served, titled If We Fall – We Gave it All written and performed by retired Shaler Area School District teacher Gene Ritz. 

       Seneca Valley students also held their special tribute to Veterans. On Friday, November 12, Evans City Middle School (ECMS) invited local veterans to participate in their “Veterans Day Drive-Thru Recognition” program. The celebration honored men and women of the Armed Forces with a drive-thru event. Veterans remained in their cars and received recognition as they drove through the Evans City Elementary/Middle School campus. The event concluded with featured performances by the ECMS chorus, band, and orchestra. 

        In the North Allegheny School District, Marshall Elementary students made cards for veterans.  In addition, NA’s High School Air Force ROTC and the Tiger Marching band participated in the Veterans Day parade in downtown Pittsburgh at the high school. 

        We salute and thank all veterans for their dedication and service to our country.