Students honor heroes

Members of the Tri-State Burial Color Guard hold a gun salute Thursday afternoon during the opening ceremony of Oak Glen High School's walk for solidarity, in honor of Veterans Day, at the high school stadium. Organized by the high school's Student Council, the event was held to honor those who have served in the Armed Forces, and coincided with a previous drive to which donations were collected for the Fisher House Foundation. (Photo by Steve Rappach)

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — As the country prepares today to honor those who have served in the military and wars throughout, several Oak Glen High School students took part in honoring our local heroes a day early.

Over 100 students took time out of classes Thursday afternoon and participated in the annual veterans walk–organized by members of the high school Student Council–on the track of Oak Glen High School Stadium. During the course of about 30 minutes, the students walked a few laps around the track in solidarity to honor veterans who have fought in wars at home and abroad. As part of the walk, students previously collected donations through various sponsorships in the area.

According to varsity football coach/student council advisor Ted Arneault Jr., a total of 115 students–accounting for over a quarter of the student body–raised over $900 in funds, and 110 of the 115 students and 17 faculty members took part in the walk Tuesday afternoon. All pledges collected from the walk will go to the Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides nearby housing for family members of veterans who are hospitalized for illness, diseases or injuries.

“We’re just doing our small part as Student Council to put together something where the students take a leadership role and honor our veterans in honor of Veterans day,” Arneault said.

Members of the Tri-State Burial Color Guard started the ceremony as they processed into the stadium and stopped at the 50-yard line of the football field, while students gathered at the track waiting to take their walk. After a playing of the National Anthem over the public address system, they presented arms and provided a 21-gun salute as Color Guard Commander Steve Quinn played Taps.

Arneault then read a poem to the participating students, reminding them what the presentation of arms and playing of Taps was all about.

“The gun salute and the playing of Taps is in honor of veterans of past and current wars who have given their lives and their service to help us live our lives as American citizens,” Arneault told the students.

The Oak Glen walk was among the first of the Veterans Day-related events to take place in Hancock County this week, as numerous programs throughout Chester, East Liverpool, Salineville, Wellsville and Beaver Local schools will also be holding events throughout the day today. The walk was held Thursday since classes in the district will not be in session today in observance of the holiday.