More than 100 veterans from conflicts ranging from World War 2 through the Iraq War were honored Friday by their friends and families at an assembly in the auditorium of Maple Point Middle School. It marked the school’s 18th Veteran’s Day Celebration.
Before the ceremony officially began, all guests and veterans were welcomed by Maple Point students and staff in the school hallways. Displays of old photos and buffets of food lined the doorways into the main event.
Each veteran was given a star marking their status as an honored guest, which for some complimented their uniforms and other military dress attire.
At 1 p.m., everyone was guided into the auditorium. Veterans were seated on the stage while choir students stood at attention waiting to sing the Star Spangled Banner.
After the musical beginning, Anne Schmidt, an eighth grade teacher at Maple Point, took the podium. Schmidt introduced three veterans of World War 2 who proudly sat on stage. Corporal Donald Amrheim, Corporal Salvador Castro, and Mr. Paul Day Sr. were all recognized for their service in the Second World War.
State Rep. Frank Farry attended as a speaker to express gratitude to the veterans on behalf of the community. He also had a message for the younger people in the room.
“To the students here, I’m going to ask one thing of you,” Farry said. “Please remember the sacrifices people in your community and country make. As you grow older and have families of your own, please find a way to continue to give back.”
“Our community is a great and vibrant community because our students give back, our adults give back, and our community gives back,” Farry continued, praising Langhorne’s residents and culture. “Please try to find a way to make a difference in peoples’ lives.”
Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick also made an unannounced appearance after Farry spoke, stressing the counterintuitive nature of being a member of the armed forces.
“Every single one of us was born with the natural instinct to run away from danger. It’s an instinct each and everyone of us innately have,” Fitzpatrick said. “Sitting behind me are the women and men who do the opposite. They run to the danger at great physical, psychological, and emotional risk all in the name of serving a cause bigger than themselves.”
After the speakers concluded their messages, four eighth grade students introduced every single one of the 102 veterans sitting on stage. Students also read poetry and performed musical pieces honoring every veteran in the nation.
Other speakers included Principal Andy Sokol, Neshaminy School District Superintendent Joseph Jones III, and Middletown Township Supervisor Amy Strouse.