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MASD to honor area Veterans

MEYERSDALE - The Meyersdale Area School District will once again be hosting and honoring local veterans with a special program and luncheon on Monday, November 12, 2018. All three schools have planned special programs, activities and performances to honor these honorable men and women.

“Honoring veterans at our annual Veterans Day assembly is of utmost importance to the students, faculty, staff, and administration at Meyersdale Area School District.  There is no other school event that unites the school community and the Meyersdale community as we honor and remember these brave men and women,” explained John Wiltrout, High School Principal. “The rich tradition emanated as veterans walk our hallways along with the gratitude exhibited by our students creates a unique school atmosphere that is different from any other day.”

The first part of the day’s remembrance will be held at the high school. Veterans are invited to attend a welcome reception at 9 a.m. in the high school gymnasium. Light refreshments will be available. The program is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. with the presentation of colors and musical performances by the Meyersdale Area High School Band. High School Principal John Wiltrout will welcome the veterans and the Girl and Boy of the Year, Elise Hutzell and Wes Caton, will serve as the emcees of the event.

The guest speaker for the program will be David Hawkins. Hawkins  was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania. After high school, he received a Master of Arts degree in Criminology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Hawkins honorably served four years in the United States Army. During his time in the Army, he was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He completed two deployments to Afghanistan from 2008-2009 and 2010-2011.  Currently, Hawkins resides in Harrisburg with his wife, April Smith-Hawkins, and their two children.

“I am honored to be able to speak at the MAHS Veterans Day ceremony on this day of remembrance and gratitude for the brave men and women who have served our country and went through great sacrifice to uphold and defend our American values,” shared Hawkins.

Following the program, veterans are invited to attend a luncheon in their honor, hosted by the Meyersdale Middle School. Held in the cafeteria, this program will include speakers and special music. The luncheon is free for all Veterans.

After the luncheon, veterans and guests are invited to the elementary gym for a sing-along with the elementary students at 1 p.m. According to Mr. Pritts, elementary principal, fifth grade students will be writing and reading poems dedicated to our Veterans. Students will be making decorations to decorate the school.


Veterans planning to attend are asked to make their luncheon reservations by Monday, November 5 by calling 634-1437 ext. 338 or 634-8311 ext. 323. Veterans’ meals are free and guests’ meal are just $3.00. Additionally, veterans and their guests are asked to bring their driver’s license or other photo identification due to the security system in place throughout the district.

“Our small community has a rich tradition of patriotism exhibited by the vast number of individuals that currently serve and who have served the cause of freedom from our community.  Because of this strong commitment to service in our community, many students have been affected in some way by those who serve or have served our great country in this capacity,” Wiltrout said. “President John F. Kennedy said, ‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’ That is the message we attempt to portray to our students.  Service to others is the highest calling one can undertake. But intrinsically it also gives purpose and meaning to life. So I sincerely hope that we don’t just utter words this Veterans Day, but I hope we honor our Veterans by living by those words as well.”