Emma Chapman – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) -LRHS is closed Friday, Nov. 11 in recognition of Veteran’s Day.

Veteran’s Day is a federal holiday to honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

The holiday was originally Armistice Day, to celebrate the 1918 end of World War I. However, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill changing Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day in 1954.

LRHS Assistant Principal Thomas Bellantonio is a army veteran.

Bellantonio said, “Veteran’s Day is a day to remember the times that I served with fellow battle buddies and how grateful I am to be an American.

“I call some of my friends that I served with and see how they are doing,” he continued.

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) instructors Master Sgt. William Cassidy and Lt. Col. Shaun O’Dea are also veterans.

O’Dea said, “For me, Veteran’s Day has always been a day to give back to the next generation. I have always enjoyed spending those days with the students in the school and my fellow Veterans. We would tell our stories and provide insight and knowledge on what life is like while serving in the Military.

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“To help raise funds and awareness, this year I will be participating in a 55-mile bike ride to support the ‘Long Walk Home’ foundation. It will provide support and assistance to Veterans and their families transitioning from military service to civilian career,” O’Dea continued.

Cassidy said, “I try to spend time to reflect and reminisce on my experiences and spend the day with my family.”