Schools, senior centers plan Veterans Day activities
By NANCY MCKENZIE and Advocate Correspondent
Nov 05, 2014 | 11:20 AM
Numerous Carroll County schools, senior centers and businesses are planning events to honor military veterans and active-duty personnel. Most of the high schools in the county are holding events to allow the students to meet, talk with and honor veterans.
Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 of each year.
Century High School has a full day planned on Nov. 7. Veterans, family members and distinguished guests will meet for breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by an assembly for the veterans and the student body.
After Century's assembly, veterans will be able to share pictures, stories and memorabilia with students and guests in a Living History Museum until 1 p.m. The school's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps will be filming a documentary with interviews with veterans.
Also on Nov. 7, Francis Scott Key High School will host active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families at an 8 a.m. breakfast cooked by the Future Farmers of America club. Following the breakfast, the school's chorus and dance team will perform for the honored guests.
The marching band will lead a parade of veterans through the hallways at Francis Scott Key to allow the students to present them with thank-you cards. Veteran Joseph Knights will be the featured speaker, sharing his experiences.
On Nov. 11, Winters Mill High School will host veterans at a breakfast from 7:45 to 9 a.m., followed by an assembly with the students from 9 to 10 a.m.
David Herman, the faculty member in charge of the Veterans Day program at Winters Mill, said, "We just have all different groups in the school involved in the assembly — our music groups, students giving speeches and our Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps."
Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. Nov. 11 at North Carroll High School. School volunteers and local businesses donate food to serve a hot breakfast, fruit and pastries to the veterans. The program at North Carroll has music and speeches, with the support of the music and art departments at the school.
North Carroll offers a unique gift to the veterans attending that event. "Our veterans also have the opportunity to have a professional portrait done, at no charge," said Betsy Donovan, academic facilitator at the school.
Liberty High School will also start its Veterans Day observance with an 8 a.m. breakfast Nov. 11. The school's history club will serve a catered breakfast to local veterans, then present a program to honor them.
At Liberty, the featured speaker will be World War II veteran Leonard Kirk. The history club members will also honor a veteran from the Liberty High School community.
Veterans Day activities start a little later in the day at South Carroll High School. "From 10:15 to 11:05, we have the veterans come into the media center. We have light refreshments and students from the social studies classes come and interview the veterans," said Kathy Walker, coordinator of the event.
"At 11 a.m., we have a moment of silence, play taps through the school and read the poem 'Flanders Fields' over the intercom," she said. "We've had a living history museum set up, where veterans can bring in artifacts and tell the students about them."
Manchester Valley High School will be observing Veterans Day on Nov. 15 by offering a veterans dinner and theater program. The doors open at 5 p.m., dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m., and the show will start at 7 p.m.
The evening's event, offered at no charge to veterans and their guests, will include a dinner of baked ziti, salad, bread, desserts, coffee and tea, followed by a performance of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," the school's fall play.
Carroll County's senior centers will be closed on Nov. 11 for the Veterans Day holiday, so most of the centers will have observances on other dates. The Mount Airy Senior and Community Center will have a Veterans Day Luncheon on Nov. 6.
The Taneytown Senior and Community Center will have a program at 11 a.m. on Nov. 7, featuring guest speaker Kellen M. "Buck" Musser, a Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran from Frederick who does portraits of fallen combat veterans. On Nov. 10, the Westminster Senior and Community Center will honor veterans with a program featuring music from the Senior Singers and Maria Rose.
At 11 a.m. on Nov. 13 the North Carroll Senior and Community Center will hold its observance. Center Manager Renee Deiaco said, "We have a series of readings and patriotic music, with music by the 'Never Too Late Band.' We will have a special roast beef meal after that."
•For the South Carroll High School event, call the school at 410-751-3575. The school is located at 1300 West Old Liberty Road, Sykesville.
•For the Manchester Valley High School dinner and theater, call Maria Cappadora at 410-386-1673 during school hours or email email@example.com. The school is at 3300 Maple Grove Road, Manchester.
•For the North Carroll Senior and Community Center luncheon, reservations must be made by 10 a.m. on on Nov. 6. The meal will cost $3.42 per person for anyone under age 60. The meal price is a donation up to $3.42 per person for those age 60 and over. The center is located at 2328 Hanover Pike, Hampstead.
History of Veterans Day
While the Treaty of Versailles signed on June 28, 1919, officially ended World War I, fighting had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."
The following year, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.
In 1938, Nov. 11 of each year was named a legal holiday to be known as "Armistice Day."
Following World War II and the Korean War, and with the urging of several veterans organizations, Congress changed the holiday from "Armistice" to "Veterans" day in 1954 to honor all American veterans.
Under the Uniform Holiday Bill signed in 1968, Veterans Day was moved. The bill intended to ensure three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971. However, the backlash was great because of the historic and patriotic significance of Nov. 11.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed into law a return of Veterans Day to Nov. 11, beginning in 1978, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls.