Students and faculty members at Marian Catholic High School, Hometown, took time from their academic schedules on Monday, Nov. 11, to pay tribute to America and its Armed Forces during a Veterans Day Assembly held in the school gymnasium. William "Bill" Gaddes was the keynote speaker for an audience of over 375 people.
Gaddes and his wife, Millie, live at Lake Hauto. He graduated from Coaldale High School, Penn State University and Lehigh University. Gaddes served for five years in the Air Force during the Korean War as a B-29 Tail Gunner. While in the Air Force, he was awarded the Air Medal with four leaf clusters, the Korean Service Medal with 5 battle stars, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Crew Award and the PresidentialDistinguished Unit Citation.
Gaddes retired after a 30 year career with IBM as an Engineering Manager and Program Manager for IBM's electronic warfare business area, and a fifteen year career with Lockheed Martin as a consultant on foreign military sales. Early in his career he worked as a Human Factors Engineer with NASA Astronauts on Gemini and Manned Orbiting Research Laboratory. For ten years, Gaddes worked in Tioga County, N.Y., as a probation officer serving on a volunteer basis. He received a commendation from the governor of New York for his work with young people in probation. Since his retirement, Gaddes has been active with Veteran's Affairs and the design of veterans monuments. He constructs museum quality 100 Gun "Men-O-War" ship models and he is an amateur Naval historian.
Throughout the program, students of the diocesan high school offered patriotic presentations, while remarks were offered by Sister Bernard Agnes, IHM, school principal. Musical selections were offered by the Marian High School Band. Student Faith Befano was the master of ceremonies. Kayla Rodick delivered a students' view of Veteran's day, while student Allison Walck gave the "History of Veteran's Day, "after which time Gaddes addressed the assemblage.
Annette Ritzko explained the "History of the Flag," and Cassandra Hoben recited "In Flander's Field," respectively. "Taps" was played by Kelsey Hurst, followed by a moment of silence in memory of departed veterans.
The session closed with Sister Bernard Agnes, IHM pronouncing the benediction and the playing of the Marian alma mater.