Area veterans were honored on Friday at Swanton High School during the school district’s annual Veterans Day Program.
The program began with the presentation of colors by Swanton American Legion Post 479 and Vernon McCune Post 132 with area veterans entering the gymnasium. The Swanton eighth grade and high school bands then performed “God Bless America.”
Following a welcome by Alison Burch, master of ceremonies, student body president Mikayla Rochelle led The Pledge of Allegiance. “The Star Spangled Banner” was then performed by the high school Vocal Ensemble.
Elementary students then showed their support for veterans, starting with a performance of the song “Thankful for the USA.” Third grade students Victoria Mosinski, Audriana Roth, Jett Smith, and Cheyanne Smith then read the poem “Veterans Day” by Cheryl Dyson.
Fourth grade students Laci Walborn and Alexa Faber then read their piece, “What Veterans Day Means to Me.”
Swanton Middle School students Riley Bellner, Saylor McNally, McKenzyee Eitniear and Miranda Yeager participated in a flag folding ceremony.
Also at the program, the Purple Star Award banner was presented to the middle school by Pete LuPiba, Ohio Department of Education representative and MIC3 State Commisioner. The award was received due to the school’s commitment to military families.
Mickey Avalos of Swanton was the keynote speaker. Avalos was commissioned into the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1990.
During his military career, Avalos has served as Officer in Charge of the 323rd Military Police Company for Ohio flood relief in 1997 and for Police Operations in Panama in 1998. He also served a tour of duty in Iraq as the Company Commander of the Headquarters Support Company of the 983rd Engineer Battalion.
Following a video presentation by Joe Nye’s Interactive Media I class, the bands played the “Armed Forces Salute.” Swanton Principal Jason Longbrake gave closing remarks before “Taps” was played and the Retiring of the Colors was held.