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Veterans honored with red, white and blue celebration at Catonsville assisted living facility

World War II veteran Robert Myers, 84, holds his wife Nancy Myers' hand, as the couple enjoyed the Veteran's Day celebration at the Catonsville Commons assisted living facility on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
World War II veteran Robert Myers, 84, holds his wife Nancy Myers' hand, as the couple enjoyed the Veteran's Day celebration at the Catonsville Commons assisted living facility on Tuesday, Nov. 11. (Staff photo by Lauren Loricchio)

Red, white and blue flowers and balloons were just part of the patriotic display at the Catonsville Commons assisted living facility Tuesday afternoon for a Veterans Day celebration held at 2 p.m. to express gratitude to war veterans for their service.

About 50 residents and staff members at the facility sat to watch a program developed by Shirley Conaway, a part-time recreation assistant, who began planning the event in August.

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"It's Veteran's Day and they need to be recognized for their service," Conaway said, surrounded by dozen of visitors who enjoyed the event's refreshments that included red, white and blue sheet cake, punch, cookies and cupcakes.

The assisted living facility located at 16 Fusting Avenue is owned by Genesis HealthCare.

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The event was part of the company's "We Honor Veterans" program, said Barbara Cox, director of nursing.

"I think it is wonderful that we can recognize residents who have served in the military," Cox said.

The program included local politicians 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk, District 12 state Sen. Edward Kasemeyer and District 12A Del. Steve DeBoy, who spoke about the importance of celebrating those who served their country.

"Your generation came home and you created communities," DeBoy said. "You are the Lions Club, you are the Knights of Columbus...you're everything that is good about Maryland and the United States."

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Residents watched as students in the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program at Carver Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore City did a series of drill team and drum performances.

The students, wearing matching uniforms, stomped their feet and clapped their hands, in a military-like fashion.

"I hope they got entertainment and got to see what the drill team could do," said Adara Williams, 15, a staff sergeant in the JROTC program.

Jerome Bloom, 77, a resident at the facility, watched the team happily near the front of the room.

He said he felt a sense of "pride" and "joy", knowing "that somebody cares."

Nancy Myers, 82, held her husband Robert's hand, as they enjoyed the speeches and performances.

"It was very nice that they were recognized and that they're not forgotten," said Myers, adding that Robert is a World War II U.S. Navy veteran.

Other residents weren't war veterans, but wanted to participate in the festivities.

Levy Jordon, a six-year resident at the facility, said although she never served in the military she, "always wanted to."

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