Communities to honor veterans

JULIE HUSS/Staff photoDerry honored Veterans Day in MacGregor Park last year. Traditional services are once again this year, Nov. 11, in the park.

DERRY — Area veterans will be honored this week and next with special school events, breakfasts and traditional services.

Derry schools will host special services and flag ceremonies this week to honor Veterans Day including West Running Brook Middle School's annual salute to veterans breakfast and program on Friday, Nov. 8, at 8 a.m.

The school will welcome veterans who served in all branches of the military and will honor them with patriotic music, breakfast, gifts and other activities.

The school has held the veterans breakfast for many years, drawing big crowds of those who served in all branches of the military and enjoying breakfast served up by West Running Brook students.

In Londonderry, veterans are honored on Saturday, Nov. 9 with the annual veterans breakfast, beginning at 8 a.m. in the Londonderry High School cafeteria.

The school's Pay it Forward Club student members will help host the annual breakfast to honor veterans in the area. Special gift baskets will be presented to veterans attending and a program of patriotic music and special words will be offered by students and others.

The breakfast has grown since it started. High School Assistant Principal and Pay it Forward advisor Katie Sullivan said in 2013, the breakfast honored 46 veterans. Last year, 220 attended.

In Windham, third-graders at Golden Brook Elementary will honor veterans with a special assembly on Friday, Nov. 8, 1 p.m. Students will sing patriotic songs for visiting veterans. The community is welcome to attend.

Windham High School will also host a Veterans Day assembly Nov. 8.

Pinkerton Academy in Derry opens its doors on Monday, Nov. 11 with the annual Veterans Day breakfast, 7 to 9:30 a.m. This year will be the 25th year, honoring veterans and served up by members of the Class of 2023.

Local veterans will also pay tribute to Pinkerton, presenting a special award for the 25 years of hosting the breakfast.

Then, the town of Derry, along with American Legion Post 9, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1617 and its auxiliaries, Derry Parks and Recreation and cable television, host traditional Veterans Day services on Nov. 11, beginning with a blessing of veterans service at 10 a.m. at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 63 East Broadway.

At 10:30 a.m., Veterans Day ceremonies are held at MacGregor Park, next to Derry Public Library featuring guest speaker Laura Barker of Hero Pups, special music, a Veterans Day proclamation by Derry Town Council, and salute to colors provided by American Legion Post 9 Honor Guard.

Nicole Ferrante of the Derry Recreation Department, said having Barker as a guest speaker this year is special and will help stress the need and importance of providing trained service dogs for veterans or first responders in need.

She invites everyone to come out Nov. 11 and hear Barker's words about the program.

"So we can try to help support these programs more," Ferrante said. "It's so beneficial to our veterans and first responders."

After the MacGregor Park ceremony, there is an open house at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1617 post home on Railroad Avenue, and visits to area nursing homes and retirement facilities to follow including stops at Pleasant Valley Nursing Home, Aurora Senior Living, and Birch Heights.

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