Area veterans will be honored
Winchester — Local men and women who served in the armed forces will be remembered with several Veterans Day events.
A concert, ceremonies and a breakfast will honor past and present troops. Veterans Day, Nov. 11, marks the anniversary of the 1918 armistice of World War I.
Events begin Nov. 9 with a Veterans Day Breakfast and Celebration Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at Millbrook High School. The breakfast is not only to honor veterans, but it gives students an opportunity to “interact face-to-face, one-on-one with veterans,” said Steve Edwards, coordinator of policy, records management and communications for Frederick County Public Schools.
“We have found that the veterans have a unique ability to connect with students, and it really helps to bring the history that students are learning in their classes to life as they get to interact over breakfast with these veterans,” he said.
The theme of this year’s program is “Welcome Home,” and it will focus on recognizing veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars, who never received a true welcome home after their service overseas, said Rachel Deavers, the Millbrook teacher who started the project.
Former Robert E. Aylor Middle School teacher Amber Lucchiani, who died in July in a traffic accident, also will be recognized at the event for the work she did to help students connect with history by helping local veterans, Deavers said. Lucchiani was a strong advocate for veterans in the region and took her students to the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., each year as part of a service project.
The program is put on by about 60 students from Millbrook, James Wood and Sherando high schools who are enrolled in government service learning classes, she said.
In addition, the graphic arts classes at Millbrook are creating publicity materials, Redbud Run Elementary School students are creating letters and posters for the veterans, students from Frederick County Middle and Bass-Hoover Elementary schools are working on a video project, and students from Aylor Middle School will be volunteering at the event.
“The program has grown to include more students each year and continues to provide them with a hands-on learning experience,” Deavers said.
Veterans interested in attending the breakfast are asked to reserve a spot by Wednesday. Call 540-545-2800.
The Clarke County Community Band will continue the recognition of veterans at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 with a free concert at Johnson-Williams Middle School, 200 Swan Ave., Berryville, director Larry Correll said. The evening will be a mix of patriotic music and veterans’ remembrances.
The concert will feature music such as John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March” and “Stars and Stripes Forever,” variations on “America the Beautiful” by Robert W. Smith, and arrangements from the score of the film “Gettysburg,” Correll said.
Between those performances, “the voice of the band,” John Hudson, who is also senior vice president and marketing director at the Bank of Clarke County, will offer readings of the experiences of local veterans, which were submitted to the band, Correll said.
“We wanted people to go away celebrating what these men and women have given for the country during their lives and celebrating what experiences they had during the times they were serving their country,” he said.
Godfrey Miller Fellowship Home will hold a “Proper Disposal of the American Flag Ceremony” at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 to honor local veterans, said Sandy Jones, a volunteer and docent for the center. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be in the side yard of the house at 28 S. Loudoun St., Winchester.
Three Girl Scout Troops will perform the ceremony, which will include the burning of an old and tattered flag from Winchester House, a home for senior citizens, located near the center, Jones said.
The proper way to dispose of a ceremony is by burning or burying it. The girls will go through the ritual and describe what they are doing and why, Jones said. Local veterans also will be able to participate by burning the stripes of other older flags. The ceremony will be followed by a reception and light refreshments.
“It is a very impressive ceremony. The Girl Scouts will be in uniform and wearing white gloves,” Jones said. “It is just one of those ceremonies that will give you chills.”
For more information, call 540-667-5869 or 540-662-4366 or go to godfreymillerhome.org.
Amerisist Assisted Living in Stephens City and Blue Ridge Hospice are partnering to host a Veterans Honoring Ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 13. The event will be at Amerisist, 110 Spanish Oak Drive, Stephens City.
The evening will feature a free dinner and guest speaker John Lewandowski, founder and chairman of the board for the Disabled Veterans Committee on Housing.
To reserve a space, call Dana Ohler at 540-270-8087 by Nov. 11.
The Civil Air Patrol Cadets of the Winchester Composite Squadron will hold a tribute to veterans buried at Winchester National Cemetery at noon Dec. 15. The event, which will feature speakers, guests and the laying of grave site wreaths, is part of a national tribute done by the cadets nationwide.
Though the ceremony is weeks away, the cadets are seeking sponsors for the $15 wreaths that are laid on the graves. Last year, more than 400 wreaths were placed during the ceremony, but as support grows, the cadets will try to honor all of the 5,561 graves at the site.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information on sponsoring a wreath, contact the squadron at firstname.lastname@example.org. All sponsorships must be completed by Nov. 22.
— Contact Laura McFarland at email@example.com