Toronto holds special Veterans Day service

VETERANS SERVICE — Chief Warrant Officer 2 Amy Adams served as guest speaker of a special Veterans Day service held Thursday at Toronto Junior/High School. Sponsored by the social studies department, the event included guests from American Legion Post 86 and veterans from the area.

TORONTO — A special Veterans Day service was held Thursday morning at Toronto Junior/Senior High School. Sponsored by the social studies department, the assembly began with the posting of colors by American Legion Post 86.

The veterans walked into the gym while the high school band performed “Armed Forces on Parade.”

Bruce Palmer, social studies teacher, announced the names of all veterans present and thanked them for their service.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Amy Adams was the guest speaker, and the THS graduate spoke about the importance of patriotism.

“America is the greatest place in the world because of our deep patriotism,” Adams said.

She recounted several memories of her experiences while serving abroad that reminded her how wonderful America is.

“I have met parents who have saved every nickel and dime they have in hopes of sending their children to America one day,” Adams said.

“One memory I hold onto so tightly is that of a mother in the streets of Afghanistan who forcibly tried to give me her infant child, who quite surprisingly had blue eyes similar to my own, and who she thought could pass for my own and make it back to America. Imagine that for just one minute — a parent willing to give her own daughter to a total stranger in hopes she could get her back to America,” recalled Adams.

“America is a place that you and I wake up to every morning and almost always take for granted. I sometimes forget the hardships that other nations are enduring. I sometimes forget how wonderful America is and how blessed I am to be a citizen here.”

She noted the lack of patriotism she has witnessed recently, such as fewer flags being displayed at residences and the NFL controversy with the national anthem.

“This time when I returned (home) I couldn’t find a news station with anything to report about what our military was accomplishing in other parts of the world. I can only shake my head that it is more important to report what politicians are tweeting than what American soldiers are doing to protect and defend democracy worldwide. Who would have imagined that America’s favorite sport could generate so much controversy about our citizens’ patriotism and loyalty to the flag?”

Adams, who serves in the 316th ESC Support Operations Branch as operations officer for the contracting support branch in Coraopolis, Pa., reminded everyone of their responsibility to serve.

“As citizens of this great nation, we are all called to serve. We all have a duty and responsibility to give back to a nation that has given so much.”

Adams’ distinguished awards and decorations include a Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal. In early September, she returned from a deployment in support of OEF/Operation Inherent Resolved.

A reception was held in the school library for the veterans in attendance.