Area events set to honor veterans

By Josette Keelor

Every year, Veterans Day honors the men and women who have risked their lives fighting for the safety of all Americans.

Tuesday in Woodstock, the Veterans Day event at Massanutten Military Academy, 614 S. Main St., Woodstock will pull together organizations that normally hold separate tributes.

The American Legion Muhlenberg Post 199 in Woodstock and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2447 in Edinburg will partner with the school at the 11 a.m. tribute. Afterward, the American Legion and VFW will host separate noon lunches, said CSM Suzanne Rubenstein, director of communications for the school.

“We’re all doing this together,” she said. “What would normally happen at the American Legion is now happening here at [Gordon D.] Bowman Stadium.”

“It just gives the public more places to park, they’re not standing in the middle of the street,” she said.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the public is welcome on campus, and history classes from Peter Muhlenberg Middle School and Central High School are invited to tour the campus and interact with the various military vehicles and displays.

First declared as Armistice Day by President Wilson in 1919, Veterans Day initially marked the end of World War I. In 1954, it was renamed to honor veterans of all wars and conflicts.

The event will take place rain or shine, said Rubenstein, one of several retired military veterans on staff at the school.

“Anytime we can honor a veteran, it’s even more special to us,” she said.

Though Veterans Day is observed Tuesday, area events will begin this week.

• At 2 p.m. Friday in Front Royal, a Veterans Day event at Warren County Middle School will include tributes by students and instructors from Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, the Boy Scouts of America and local veterans. Guest speaker will be Air Force JROTC instructor TSgt Tina Laing, retired from the Air Force. Contact Warren County Middle at 240 Luray Ave., Front Royal, by calling 540-635-2194.

• Saturday in Strasburg, the Signal Knob Middle School chapter of the National FFA Organization will host its FFA Veterans Day Breakfast to recognize the community’s veterans and those who are relatives and close friends of students.

The tribute begins at 8 a.m. in the school cafeteria at 687 Sandy Hook Road and features breakfast, a slide show presentation, guest speakers, patriotic music and a presentation by FFA chapter officers. About 150-200 visitors are expected to attend. Those planning to attend the breakfast should RSVP to the school at 540-465-3422.

• Sunday in Winchester, Military Appreciation Day at the Kernstown Battlefield, 610 Battle Park Drive, Winchester, will take place from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free and invites all active duty military, veterans and their families to a display of Civil War-era cannons and tours of the Pritchard House and a ride up Pritchards Hill. A free lunch will be served. The event will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 202-302-9129.

• Tuesday’s 11 a.m. Front Royal Veterans Day Ceremony at the Warren County Courthouse will include performances by Randolph-Macon Academy’s color guard, honor guard and band. Joining them will be bands from Warren County High School and Skyline High School, playing patriotic music.

That day a second color guard from the academy will post the colors at a service with at a local 55 and older community, and the school’s Commandant Col. Gary Sadler, USAF Ret., will be the featured speaker at the Winchester/Frederick County Veterans Council at Omps South Chapel Cemetery, 1260 Front Royal Pike, Winchester.

• Also Tuesday, Shenandoah University will host the Remembrance Day National Roll Call event to honor service men and women who gave their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom during the last year. A national moment of silence at 2 p.m. will start the free event in the Brandt Student Center, 703 University Drive, Winchester. University President Tracy Fitzsimmons will then read names of soldiers who have died since last year’s roll call.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Randolph-Macon Academy color guard will post the colors in the ceremony arranged by the Student Veterans Association, and Sadler will speak again. A closing ceremony will follow at 3 p.m. For more information, call 800-432-2266 or visit www.su.edu.

• In honor of Veterans Day, Virginia state parks will offer free park admission and special programming. At Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr. River State Park in Bentonville, guests may write cards to a veteran or service member. For a list of programs and park details, times and locations, visit http://1.usa.gov/1x93QWD or call 800-933-PARK (7275).

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com