Students throughout Lehighton Area School District took time on Monday to salute and honor our nation's veterans.
From the various military branches, veterans visited each classroom at Lehighton Area Middle School and shared their first-hand experiences with the students. This was followed by an appreciation luncheon for the vets prepared and served by LAMS Student Advisory Council.
In reference to the luncheon, eighth-grade student Breanna Hoffner said, "I think it's important to honor our veterans for serving our country."
LAMS Student Advisory Council adviser John Lopata presented each participating vet with a plaque of appreciation featuring the insignia of the military branch with which each served.
"It's important to remember all that our veterans have done for our country," said Assistant Principal Michael DeAngelo.
"It's nice to know people appreciate the vets who helped to keep our country free," added Henry Long, who served 23 years and eight months in the Army National Guard.
At Shull-David Elementary School, students participated in an assembly coordinated by head teacher Lisa Schatz that included music, poems, and a question-and-answer session led by Principal Aaron Sebelin.
In addition, second grade teacher Jan Wentz discussed Trees for Troops a program that purchases Christmas trees to give to United States military families stationed here and around the world.
Once again partnering locally with Yenser's Tree Farm, Shull-David students are being asked to donate spare change for the program through Dec. 4. Families are also invited to donate trees. Last year, Shull-David purchased 23 trees for military families. For more information about the program, visit www.TreesforTroops.org.
"I feel it is very important for our students to understand the importance of Veterans Day, so that they can better appreciate all of the wonderful things we have at our disposal in these United States," said Sebelin. "It is our responsibility to make sure our veterans' sacrifices are respected and remembered."
Mahoning Elementary School held a schoolwide program with songs and poems. Teachers at East Penn and Franklin Elementary Schools integrated Veterans Day instruction and videos into the curriculum throughout the day.
On Nov. 11, 1918 at "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month," an armistice was declared for World War I "the war to end all wars."
Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time exactly one year later, on Nov. 11, 1919. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory." There were parades, public meetings, and a brief suspension of business activities at 11 a.m.
On June 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law which established the fourth Monday in October as the new date for the observance of Veterans Day. It was held on this day from 1971 through 1977. The Federal observance of Veterans Day reverted back to Nov. 11 in 1978.