Fayette County will honor local veterans on Wednesday with a series of programs and events for Veterans Day.
Beginning at 7:15 a.m., veterans are invited to join Miami Trace High School as they honor heroes with a free breakfast. The breakfast, which has been an MT High School tradition for many years, will be followed with a student-led Veterans Day program. During the program, a local veteran will be introduced and honored with a telling of his career and life by students, and students who did well in the annual Americanism test will be announced. Additionally, the band will perform for veterans.
“We have worked together with Ed Helt (local veteran) to put the program together,” Miami Trace High School Principal Rob Enochs said. “What I believe to be one of the highlights of the mostly student led program is where they take a local veteran and really get to know them. They then present the veteran to the student body and guests to honor them in a special way. This is something that we all look forward to during the year. We welcome any veterans who would like to join us for the program and breakfast.”
The Fayette County Commission on Aging will once again be honoring veterans, who reserved a seat, with a lunch at their facility. The tradition began in 2007 when executive director Cheryl Stockwell asked her staff if they would like to stay open to serve veterans a free lunch. She said she wanted to stay open to help honor heroes like her father, and the staff agreed.
“Every year I have to ask them if they want to stay open, because it is considered a federal holiday and we normally are closed for those,” Stockwell said. “Every year, without hesitation, the staff says yes. It has been a favorite event of mine and of the staff’s for years now. We want to try and make all of the veterans realize that we appreciate what they gave for us, and there is truly not enough honoring done for them. So we keep up our tradition as our own little way of thanking them.”
Washington High School will also be holding a Veterans Day program at 1:30 p.m. in its gymnasium. The program will include a video put together by the AP government class, a special presentation from the senior class president and vocal performances by the choir. Immediately following the high school program, the Washington Middle School will also hold a program.
“In the past we never did much in the way of honoring the veterans, not that you ever could, but we just wanted to do more,” Rose said. “Last year was the first year we held this program. I find it is very important to hold this not only as a way to honor and recognize those veterans that have done so much for us, but also as a way to remind the students of the importance of their sacrifice. We hope to try and go above and beyond to say thanks. We are looking forward to the assembly.”
The evening will conclude with a special dinner for all veterans. The dinner, which is possible due to efforts from the Washington Shrine Club and the American Legion Post 25, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Legion Post 25 on U.S. 22. All veterans will eat for free and dinners are available for non-veterans for $7 and include meat, salad, mashed potatoes, beans and dessert, as well as coffee and tea.
“It is always a pleasure for the Washington Shrine Club to host all of our men and women in uniform,” Shriner Benny Jamison said. “To offer them a meal feels good. We hope we can see our local veterans make it out for the meal.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy