High School Honors Veterans During Annual Recognition Program

A serviceman holds his child during the recently held Manchester High School Veterans Recognition Program. (Photo courtesy Manchester Schools)

  MANCHESTER –Township High School students and staff once again welcomed local veterans and the community to the school for a special ceremony in honor of those who served.

  Local veterans were invited to the 18th Annual Veterans Recognition Program a week prior to Veterans Day. The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by the MTHS New Jersey ROTC Cadets. The crowd was then graced with the sounds of the MTHS Concert Choir, led by Director Dwight Weaver.

  Guest speaker, retired United States Navy member Glenn Kildare spoke about his experience as a serviceman in many capacities such as a distinguished Blue Angel.

  Local bagpiper Tom McGovern of Ocean County’s Shamrock & Thistle Pipes & Drums joined students Ben Said and Andrew Perez of Bagpipe and Drums for “Amazing Grace.” Trumpet soloist Jurissa DeOcampo performed Taps.

  Each branch of service was recognized. Members proudly stood while the Armed Service Medley was played by the MTHS Concert Band led by Sarah Culp.

The Prisoner of War and Missing In Action table represented MIAs and POWs that can’t be here with us today. (Photo courtesy Manchester Schools)

  The High School then took the celebration on the road visiting each of the district’s schools and then culminating their two-day celebration at the Regional Day School for a ceremony and lunch with students, staff, community members and service members.

  District officials have a long history of celebrating veterans and those who still serve, being that their district houses students who are most likely to be related to those working out of the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

A United States Marine veteran stands during patriotic music being played at the 18th Annual Manchester Township High School Veterans Recognition Program. (Photo courtesy Manchester Schools)

  School Superintendent John Berenato said, “It is an honor to have such strong ties with our military community and to be able to come together in such a warming ceremony that celebrates them in a very special way.”

  “The strong partnership we have in community with our military families is one the Manchester Township School District is proud of,” retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander John Holzer said. “There are three major holidays for the military: Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day. Veterans Day is one where we’re recognizing people that served in any capacity, whether they did four years and transitioned out to the civilian world, or someone like me who did a whole career and retired. This is a day to celebrate them and thank them for their service.”

Students saluted and thanked veterans for their service during this year’s Veterans Recognition Program held at Manchester High School. (Photo courtesy Manchester Schools)

  Manchester High School established the Hawks Hall of Honor to recognize all graduates who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces. The public is welcome to nominate graduates with military service for recognition in the Hawks Hall of Honor.  Those interested cand send their requests for information to jholzer@mtschools.org.

  Mayor Robert Hudak noted the township’s long tradition in recognizing veterans who live in the community. He and Council President Joan Brush came out to the high school for the event.