WESTFIELD, NJ Westfield High School will hostSalute to Soldiersbefore this Saturdays varsity football game against Scotch Plains-Fanwood at Kehler Stadium. All veterans are encouraged to come in either uniform or civilian attire to be honored with a special dedication service at 1:45 p.m. The game will begin at 2 p.m.
This is the second year that the celebration will take place. Last year, it was hosted by Scotch Plains-Fanwood. Westfield Athletic Director Sandra Mamary could not think of a better community with which to share the event.
Both of our communities have a lot of vets and both of our communities are very respectful, she said. We want to recognize what they do for us.
Mamary hopes that the people who attend and play in the game will take a look at all the of veterans that they share their community with and be surprised at all the faces that they see.
The biggest impact I want to have on both communities is awareness, she said. We live with these people and we need to do more to support them.
Mamarycredited Westfields head boys lacrosse coach Patrick Tuohy, a former veteran, for taking the project and running with it this year.
Everyone gets excited about it and it does not exclude anybody for any reason, she said. It is an all-inclusive event.
Salute to Soldiers will feature the Marine Color Guard and a performanceof the National Anthem by Westfields choir. Donations will be collected and given to The Weekly Fight, an organization with a mission to combat post traumatic stress disorder in veterans. The Weekly Fight creates a community for veterans and their families to hold meetings, seminars and workouts.
Mamary hopes that this event will become an annual celebration that Westfield can take part in for years to come.
We are a very prideful town, she said, which is just another layer of why we are Westfield. Its just a great feel-good event.
Donations to The Weekly Fight can also be made at www.theweeklyfight.org.
Kayla Miedrzynski is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.