Thursday, 02 November 2023 15:10

With Efforts Led By SSHS Sophomore, Veterans Day Ceremony To Be Held Nov. 9

Photo provided. Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Thanks to the efforts of a Saratoga Springs High School sophomore, a Veterans Day ceremony is set to be held at Veterans Memorial Park on Nov. 9.

The event will feature guest speakers, a performance of the National Anthem, and a flag replacement ceremony with a color guard. The event will be presented by the Saratoga Springs High School Military Club, and has been planned primarily by Kelly McMurtrie, a 10th-grader at the school and a member of the Military Club.

McMurtrie joined the Military Club this year, and said that while she and the club have not organized an event like this before, she felt that putting together an event to honor and support veterans is “something that is important to do.”

“It’s mine and the club’s first time ever doing anything like this,” said McMurtrie. “... The amount of people who have been hurt or injured in any way, mentally or physically, it’s horrible, and we need to do something about that.”

She said the idea for the event originated with replacing the flag at the park.

“The way it sparked up was, someone mentioned that the flag at the park was really tattered, and that we could do something to replace it,” said McMurtrie. “Someone else said that we should do something for Veterans Day, so I decided to put them together.”

The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, with speeches from guest speakers preceding a flag replacement ceremony by the color guard. McMurtrie also noted recruiters will be on hand at the event, and said the Military Club is hoping to have the National Anthem sung by a member of the U.S. Army Band.

McMurtrie and the Military Club, with advisor Colleen Sanita, are working with the high school to set up donations online. Proceeds raised will go to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), with McMurtrie emphasizing the importance of giving back to those who served.

The planning and organizing of the ceremony has been an impressive effort by the high school sophomore. McMurtrie said it has been exciting to see her work pay off as the event comes together, adding that taking the lead and initiative of planning an event like this “feels like something that a 10th-grader wouldn’t be doing, and exciting.”

“It’s really exciting, and I feel great about it,” said McMurtrie. “It’s really exciting especially to see all the things coming together.”

McMurtrie’s father served in the Navy, and she said she enjoyed her time growing up in a military family. She added that part of her interest in the military is due to the idea of “being part of something bigger” than herself.

She also emphasized the meaning of the ceremony, with proceeds raised going to the DAV, saying she feels it is important to “take care of those who took care of us.”

“Everything that they have given for our country, it’s our turn to give back,” McMurtrie said.

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