OJR honors vets with 11th an­nual cer­e­mony

Area veter­ans in­vited for pa­tri­otic salute from Owen J. Roberts stu­dents, of­fi­cials

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ian Den­nis mden­nis@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

Area veter­ans were in­vited for a pa­tri­otic salute from Owen J. Roberts stu­dents and of­fi­cials on Fri­day.

>> As busi­nesses, or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als cel­e­brated veter­ans across the coun­try Fri­day, lo­cal schools were no ex­cep­tion.

The 11th An­nual Veter­ans Day Cer­e­mony be­gan at 11:45 a.m. with open­ing re­marks from Owen J. Roberts his­tory teacher David Sch­wenk and Su­per­in­ten­dant of Schools Michael Chris­tian.

As Naval ROTC stu­dents lined the walls of the Owen J. Roberts High School au­di­to­rium, veter­ans and stu­dents sat at­ten­tively while guest speak­ers ad­dressed the im­por­tance of the day and re­minded the au­di­ence about the sac­ri­fices that have made our free­doms pos­si­ble.

“I think we can safely say that re­gard­less of your po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion and all the news that took place this week, we can agree that our veter­ans have pledged their al­le­giance and their ded­i­ca­tion to our coun­try time and time again through their ser­vice,” said Chris­tian.

Veter­ans and stu­dents were also ad­dressed by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing state Sen. John Raf­ferty, R-44, of Col­legeville; U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, of West Goshen; state Rep. Tim Hen­nessey, R-26, of North Coven­try; and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

“This day is a teach­able mo­ment for our young adults be­cause it’s our op­por­tu­nity to go back in time and look at how and why we are the coun­try that we are and how spe­cial it is to be an Amer­i­can be­cause of the vic­to­ries we’ve had in times of war and the sac­ri­fices that have been made dur­ing peace time to pre­serve those free­doms,” said Costello.

Fol­low­ing an ad­dress by each guest, the Owen J. Roberts choir per­formed pa­tri­otic pieces such as “God Bless Amer­ica” and a video demon­stra­tion de­picted the im­por­tance of a sol­dier’s sac­ri­fice in pre­serv­ing free­dom as a read­ing of A. Lau­rence Vain­court’s poem, “Just a Com­mon Sol­dier” ac­com­pa­nied the im­ages.

Veter­ans were later di­rected to the school’s in­struc­tion room for a catered lunch fol­low­ing a per­for­mance of taps that left some at­ten­dees with tears in their eyes.

“These suc­ces­sive wave of veter­ans made Amer­ica bet­ter and stronger. Their ser­vice to our na­tion didn’t end when their mil­i­tary ser­vice ended. Our veter­ans car­ried that pride and their love of coun­try for­ward and we’ve been re­warded with the great­est coun­try in the his­tory of mankind,” said Raf­ferty Fri­day. “The na­tion our veter­ans have built for us, de­fended for us and pro­tected for us is the envy of peo­ple around the world and to­mor­row’s Amer­ica will be even bet­ter.”

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

ROTC mem­bers took turns hold­ing out flags as the of­fi­cial song of each branch was played dur­ing the 11th An­nual Veter­ans Day cer­e­mony at Owen J. Roberts High School Fri­day.

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Veter­ans stood and saluted as taps was played dur­ing the 11th An­nual Veter­ans Day cer­e­mony at Owen J. Roberts High School.

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Owen J. Roberts choir sings “Amer­ica the Beau­ti­ful” to honor veter­ans dur­ing the 11th An­nual Veter­ans Day cer­e­mony Fri­day.

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