Williamstown High honors area veterans

Photo by Michael Erb Members of the Parkersburg High School Navy Junior ROTC stand at attention Monday at the beginning of Williamstown High School’s annual Veterans Day Assembly.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Nearly 100 veterans ranging from World War II to recent conflicts gathered Monday at Williamstown High School for the annual Veterans Day Assembly.

The event gives students and staff the chance to thank and honor those who have served their country in the armed forces.

The assembly featured messages from Mike McLain, a Vietnam-era Marine veteran and former drill sergeant, and Chief Glen Rickard, Navy Junior ROTC instructor at Parkersburg High School.

“These men,” McLain said, referring to the gathered veterans, “walk a little taller because of their experience.”

The PHS NJROTC gave a skills demonstration during the event and participated in several traditions, including a flag-folding ceremony with the Marine Corps League Detachment 1087.

The event also featured several lessons on the history of Veterans Day and the Pledge of Allegiance, and musical presentations by the Williamstown High School Choir and Orchestra.

Senior Rayne Somerville, 17, said the annual event is important because young people should honor veterans for the sacrifices they have made.

“It means a lot to thank them for their service,” he said.

Students “need to realize the freedom they have is because of these veterans.”

Seniors Jensen Swartz and Laurel Weber, both 17, said it is particularly important for students to see veterans as members of the community.

“It feels so nice as a school to honor our veterans,” Weber said. “It is important to see the people in person who fought for our freedom.”

The students “can actually say thank you and understand what the day symbolizes and means for us all,” Swartz said.