EASD Honors 27 Local Veterans
November 11, 2021- The Elizabethtown Area School District saluted 27 local veterans during its thirteenth annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11. The program allowed school officials and high school students to salute local veterans for their service to the country. It was also an opportunity for students to learn about the contributions that veterans have made and learn about the meaning of the day.
Elizabethtown Area School District board president Terry Seiders and Elizabethtown Borough Mayor Chuck Mummert joined superintendent of schools Dr. Michele Balliet in thanking the veterans who had gathered for the program in the high school auditorium. All five branches of the military - Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy - were represented among the veterans who gathered for the ceremony.
“Over the years I have learned that it is often uncomfortable for some of our honorees to talk about or accurately portray their experiences. Regardless, to us, they are everyday superheroes who proudly served their country, many in anonymity,” said Balliet. “Needless to say, it is this anonymity, expertise in their craft, dedication to their comrades and nation, and call to duty that makes them real American heroes. And that is why we celebrate them today on this Veterans Day.”
High school seniors Vincent Checco, Nizaly Ortiz-Kreiner, and William O’Connell, and juniors Marissa Polites and Andrea Rodriquez also took part in the program along with the high school marching band. Polites delivered the invocation followed by Checco presenting the history of TAPS. At the conclusion of Checco’s remarks, Ortiz-Kreiner played Taps. Rodriguez read a brief history of Veterans Day and O’Connell read a tribute poem to the Veterans. The marching band performed the national anthem.
During her remarks, Balliet challenged the more than 200 high school students in attendance to never forget the sacrifices of our veterans both past and present.
“To our students in the audience today, I challenge you to take a good look around you. Please don’t forget the faces of our veterans,” Balliet concluded. “Let them know you were at this year’s event and are proud to call them a friend of the Elizabethtown Area School District. I know I will because it is every day that I enjoy so many freedoms and these selfless men and women deserve my thanks and gratitude.”
At the conclusion of the event, all the veterans were honored to gather around World War II veterans Clyde Barnhart and James Phillips for a group photo.
The 2021 Veterans Day Honoring Ceremony was recorded and will be published to the school district’s YouTube Channel, which can be accessed at www.etoenschools.org.
The honorees were as follows:
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
James Hoffman, Jr.
UNITED STATES ARMY
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
UNITED STATES MARINES CORPS
UNITED STATES NAVY
UNITED STATES ARMY and UNITED STATES MARINES CORPS
UNITED STATES MARINES CORPS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE & UNITED STATES AIR NATIONAL GUARD