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CAHS Patriots to hold veterans program, dedication of World Trade Center artifact

| Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 1:31 a.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
A Connellsville Area High School student walks past the artifact from the World Trade Center, which stands 180 inches high, 66 inches wide and has a depth of 8 inches. It weighs 8,370 pounds and is displayed in a commons area in the school.

The Connellsville Area High School Patriots organization will hold its annual veterans program and a dedication of the artifact from the World Trade Center in November.

The Veterans Day Luncheon will begin 11 a.m. Nov. 16 at the Readiness Center in Connellsville Township with a brief program to follow to introduce the veterans.

The luncheon program is an opportunity for students and members of the CAHS Patriots to see familiar faces of veterans from the past events and to hear stories of events they've only read about in their history books from those who were there.

“I just wanted to make sure that no one ever feels the way our Korean and Vietnam veterans were made to feel,” said Linda Shearer, founder of the CAHS Patriots. “They only did what their country sent them to do.”

Shearer said she expects approximately 150 veterans or more to attend the luncheon program.

Prior to last year, the luncheon program was held at Connellsville Area High School, but because of renovations to the building, it was moved to the Readiness Center.

“Unfortunately, it doesn't permit the student body as a whole to participate, but the students are welcome to invite a veteran and attend with their guest,” Shearer said, adding she regrets that all the students won't be able to hear each veteran introduce themselves and touch on when and where they served. “When they did, they received a standing ovation from our students. It was the most heartfelt ‘thank you' the students could offer.”

Following the lunch, there will be a brief program and introduction of the veterans.

Then, at approximately 12:30 p.m., participants will board buses and move to the senior high school where there will be a special program for the dedication of the piece of the World Trade Center that Shearer acquired in 2011. The piece is now on display after remaining in storage for a year.

Shearer's request was one of more than 1,000 from every state and six foreign countries.

The steel carries the serial number I-0029, measures 180 inches by 66 inches by 8 inches and weighs 8,370 pounds.

The program and the acquisition of the World Trade Center artifact are just two of CAHS Patriots' many accomplishments, with community support.

“I appreciate everything that everyone has done to support our projects including the packages, the veterans program, the monument for the CAHS graduates who died in service, the wreaths at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies and obtaining and now dedicating the WTC artifact,” Shearer said. “It's been the most challenging yet rewarding experience of a lifetime!”

Those veterans interested in participating in the program can email Shearer at lshearer@casdfalcons.org or call 724-322-1494 by Oct. 31.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media.

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