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November 7, 2016

Hilton students and area veterans join together to observe Veterans Day

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Students from Merton Williams Middle School, Village Elementary School and Quest Elementary School, local veterans and officials participated in a moving ceremony on Nov. 4 at the Hilton Community Center gazebo to honor those who have served our country. The ceremony is organized annually by Teacher Pam Tenny whose father is a decorated Korean War veteran.

"I was standing here one day and it came to me why I served," said Robert Rapone, who served with the Airborne Brigade 173 during the Vietnam War. "When I looked out and saw you kids, that is why I served, why we serve. It is for the future of the United States. And what is the future? You."

John Barclay, a member of the Hilton Parma Memorial Honor Guard, presided over the ceremony, and eighth graders Ryan Holler, James Peterson and Ty Albahari spoke about what Veterans Day means to them.

"I remember coming to this ceremony in second grade and having that opportunity changed my view of Veterans Day and I hope it will change yours too," said James.

"I feel like veterans have really experienced loss and time away from their families, and the fact that we can have a holiday for them is amazing," said Ty.

The American Legion Post 788 Honor Guard was on hand to post and retire the colors. They and the other veterans in the audience shook hands with each of the students at the end of the ceremony. Many students also gave the veterans handmade thank-you cards.

"Thank you, veterans," said Ryan. "Thank you for your bravery, courage and kindness to all of us."