High school students and staff will honor the service of veterans on and around Veterans Day this month with special meals and performances.
North Carroll High School
At North Carroll High School, students and staff will host their fourth annual Veterans Breakfast on Nov. 11.
Veterans and members of their families will be treated to a free breakfast beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the North Carroll High School cafeteria, followed by patriotic-themed assembly in the school auditorium, according to Roberta Gore, a drama teacher who helped organize the event.
As in the past three years of the event, veterans and their guests will process into the school auditorium while the school band plays patriotic songs, according to Gore.
"Everyone seated in the auditorium will rise as the veterans process in and sit in the front of the auditorium and ... the band director is going to be playing some song that has all the different branches of the military in it, their theme songs," Gore said. "Last year, the veterans loved it and a lot of them had tears in their eyes."
Gore said that during the assembly, the branch of service and the name of each veteran in attendance will be announced and recognized.
According to Taylor Sheely, a North Carroll High School senior and president of the Student Government Association, the presentation will also include readings from the inaugural speeches of several presidents, as read by herself and other students.
"We planned this in conjunction with Ms. Gore. She had a book with famous people's speeches throughout history and we went through the book with her and selected speeches that we liked and which highlighted the sacrifices the soldiers make for our country," Sheely said. "Last year, there were students that read poems and letters to soldiers and from soldiers that were overseas."
Joe Peterson, of Reisterstown, served as an active-duty rifleman in the U.S. Army from 1956 until 1959, and attended the 2011 Veterans Breakfast at the invitation of his sister-in-law who works at the school, and plans to attend again this year.
"I thought [the event] was good for youngsters, to appreciate what has been done for them in the past, especially for what they have now," Peterson said. "Believe me, we could be speaking German today if it weren't for the veterans."
Sheely said that while this will be her first year performing at the event, she has attended each of the past three years and sees it as an opportunity for students to express gratitude.
"I think it's really cool because it gives everyone a chance to think about what other people have done for them and how our freedom ... there is definitely a price that has been paid for it," Sheely said. "We finally get to thank the people that have sacrificed so much for us."
Veterans interested in attending the breakfast and assembly should call the North Carroll High School office at 410-751-3450 by Nov. 6.
Manchester Valley High School
Manchester Valley High School will hold its third annual Veterans Day Dinner and Theater on the evening of Nov. 16, according to Assistant Principal Christina Dougherty.
"Our senior class came up with the idea three years ago to take this on as a service project and hoped to see it become an annual student service project," Dougherty said. "Last year, I believe we had more than 100 veterans here for an Italian dinner and then they saw our fall theater production."
According to Emily Hochheiser, senior class president, the Veterans Day event is almost entirely a production of senior class students.
"It's definitely something that is the senior class officers' responsibility. The entire senior class board has been working on [the dinner] for weeks and it will be all seniors that volunteer at the event," Hochheiser said. "We cook the food and everything."
This year, Hochheiser said, veterans and their spouses are invited to a spaghetti dinner at Manchester Valley High School.
Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the senior students will introduce themselves, lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the school chorus group will sing patriotic songs as guests get settled prior to dinner being served at 5:30 p.m., according to Hochheiser.
After the meal, veterans are invited to attend a free 7 p.m. performance of the Manchester Valley High School fall theater production, "Ondine," the story of a fairy creature that falls in love with a human knight-errant.
Hochheiser said that space is limited to 100 guests and veterans who would like to attend the dinner should call Maria Cappadora at 410-386-167, or send email to email@example.com in order to RSVP before Nov. 11.
"I remember reading in the school newspaper last year that all the guests that came were beyond happy and they really enjoyed the event, so we hope to get the same feedback this year," Hochheiser said. "I really hope that this tradition continues ... It gives us a good vibe as a new school and it's always good to give back to the veterans."