Veterans day falls on Saturday this year which means that it was being observed by many offices Friday.
The Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home held their annual ceremony Friday morning. Although there is only one day for this holiday, Friday’s ceremony showed the importance of expressing your gratitude all year long.
An aura of honor and respect filled the Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home as many gathered to commemorate the service of all United States veterans.
State representatives and Mayor Joe Schember attended their annual Veteran’s Day ceremony as a way of showing their appreciation for those who have served.
McDowell Air Force JROTC posted and retired the colors while the Mercyhurst Prep Show Choir sang service songs of the armed forces.
“This one is actually a celebration. So we’re here to thank veterans for their service and for their commitment when they enlisted they really took on a responsibility that not many americans do,” said Ken Vybiral, volunteer resources coordinator for the PA Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Home.
Vybiral said this ceremony is always a significant event for the home. He explained a key aspect is having the community come out to show their support and appreciation
“It really goes a long way in letting know that their service still matters years after they’ve taken their oath of enlistment,” he said.
Retired Major General Peter D. Utley is volunteer for the home and was chosen as the keynote speaker.
While honoring and recognizing veterans, Friday’s ceremony also inspires the next generation of those who will serve.
“I really respect everybody who has fought in the war,” said Levi Glass, second year ROTC member at McDowell High School. “I would like to be marine after college and high school that what I’m striving to.”
Glass’ motivation is his grandfather who was in military and is currently deceased. The ROTC member hopes to make him proud one day.
“I think having the youth engaged in our program really establishes that tradition and that sense of purpose,” Vybiral said. “Hopefully they continue that on as they become adults and into their professional careers as well.”
Vybiral said to keep in mind this holiday that it’s the simplest acts that mean the most.