The 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War was marked Sunday, November 11, as the Warren County Courthouse clock chimed 11 times – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – and American Legion Post 53 Vice-Commander Clarence Hartsell began a quiet, 45-minute ceremony.
A relatively small crowd of about 60 gathered in the courthouse grounds, most of them veterans. Many wore distinctive Legion caps, and others were wrapped in coats against the 45-degree weather, depicting their service of record. Despite the first cold snap of the season, skies were blue and brilliant sunshine provided some warmth for speakers and spectators alike.
The Sunday ceremony’s attendance was obviously affected by its clash with regular church services throughout the area and this year, being a Sunday observance of Veterans Day, no school bands were available. However on this 100th anniversary of the end of the first great global conflict of the 20th Century, organizers felt it important to mark the occasion on the precise date and time of the armistice that halted a war so horrific in its modern weaponry and casualty count that it was for a short time believed to be a war that would end widespread human warfare.
Commemorative wreaths were laid at memorial sites on opposite sides of the courthouse forecourt saluting town and county service personnel who’d given their lives in America’s wars, while others honored all of those who fought in World War I, the “war to end all wars.”
Appropriately, the Giles B. Cook Post 53 of the American Legion introduced U.S. Marine Corps veteran William Sealock, a Front Royal Town Councilor, whose military record included active duty in five combat zones, including those in Vietnam and the Middle East, who said he was there to honor all veterans of all wars.
Sealock described himself, born in 1944, as a “war baby”, offspring of a Gold Star mother. He came of a military family whose members served, some dying, in World War II, and in later American wars.
He revealed he was wounded on the battlefield in South Vietnam but cited one of his duties as a Marine Corps “grunt” as a career highlight – it was as a mailman for the troops during “Operation Starlight” in which 42 marines died.
The mail carrier brought brief moments of joy to those caught up in the heat of battle and the soldier who delivered welcome news from home declared he had “no apology for being a ‘grunt’ performing this duty. Sealock rose through the ranks to retire as a Chief Warrant Officer and returned to civilian life as a Defense Department contractor. After serving on the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Board of Directors, he was elected to Town Council in 2016. (To see and listen to Sealock’s approximately 15-minute welcoming address, guest speaker Larry Funk, and a complete video of the ceremony, go to the Royal Examiner video presentation accompanying this article)
Hartsell called for a moment’s silence for those who died in battle while guest speaker Funk, Post 53 commander, honored “every man and woman who has honorably served their country in every war since the Revolutionary War.”
He noted that while the “war to end all wars” – World War I – did not live up to its reputation, it did lead to the formation of the American Legion which then, and to this day, is in the business of alleviating the stresses of Americans returning from active duty. He noted that homelessness is most prevalent today among veterans and he offered a cure: employment. He asked potential employers to give major consideration to employing veterans, particularly those who have been wounded in service.
“Give them who gave us our precious freedoms a shot at the American dream,” he implored.
Among organizations represented at the 2018 annual ceremony, apart from various other officers of the American Legion, were: Jeff Cook, Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1860; Dennis Henline, Exalted Ruler, Fraternal Order of the Elks, 2382; Richard Crawford, Veteran’s Chairman, Elks, 2382; and Wayne Sealock, Governor, Lodge 829, Loyal Order of the Moose.
Opening prayer and benediction were by Cindy Kokernak while John Kokernak sounded “Taps” to end the ceremony. This year just one dog was in attendance, Cody, accompanied by his pal Stephen Kurtz.
(Our contributing writer, Malcolm Barr Sr., is a veteran of the Royal Air Force, and his son, Malcolm Barr Jr., is an Iraq war vet who served 10 years with the U.S. Air Force and represents a contracting company in military intelligence adjacent to Langley AFB in Virginia. Barr Sr. recollects attending every Armistice Day (now Veterans Day in the U.S.) since emigrating from the UK in 1955, often more recently with a canine companion representing the “dogs of war”)
Randolph-Macon Academy presents Spring Fine Arts Showcase
The award-winning Randolph-Macon Academy Band and Chorus will be joined by individual student performers amidst a display of student artwork during the first Randolph-Macon Academy Spring Fine Arts Showcase. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Melton Memorial Gymnasium on Sunday, April 28th.
The Showcase opens at 2:00 pm with art/robotics viewings and individual/small groups musical performances. At 3:00 pm, the R-MA Chorus takes center stage, with the finale coming at 4:00 pm with the R-MA Concert Band. For more information, call 540-636-5484.
Mark your calendar: Saturday, April 20th – 1st Annual Humanity Day at the Gazebo
This Saturday, April 20th, will be the 1st Annual Humanity Day sponsored by SONA Bank and the Habitat for Humanity. The event will take place at the Gazebo on Main Street in Front Royal from 10am to 5pm.
Entertainment includes the Cazhmier Band and Matt Waller. There will be plenty of activities for the kids and family, including a rock climbing wall, bull ride, moon bounce and much more!
Monies raised will benefit the Warren County Habitat for Humanity 2019 Duplex build.
Stevie Hubbard, from Habitat for Humanity, and Tanya Rosenberry, from SONA Bank, stopped by Royal Examiner’s studio and spoke with our own Norma Jean Shaw.
Skyline Regional Criminal Justice Academy announces its Second Annual Police Memorial Service
Skyline Regional Criminal Justice Academy would like to announce its Second Annual Police Memorial Service on May 15, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. The service will be held at the Corron Community Development Center at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, Virginia. We will be honoring the following local officers who have fallen in the line of duty:
- Officer Hunter Edwards, Winchester Police Department – End of Watch: November 24, 2018
- Trooper Kevin Carder Manion, Virginia State Police – End of Watch: February 18, 2006
- Trooper II Daniel Lee Williams, Virginia State Police – End of Watch: December 12, 1999
- Sergeant Ricky Lee Timbrook, Winchester Police Department – End of Watch: October 30, 1999
- Lieutenant William Patrick Farrell, Front Royal Police Department – End of Watch: July 24, 1991
- Trooper Harry Lee Henderson, Virginia State Police – End of Watch: March 17, 1987
- Sergeant Dennis M. Smedley, Front Royal Police Department – End of Watch: September 20, 1983
- Sheriff James W. Newcome, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office – End of Watch: February 13, 1983
- Sheriff Luther Pannett, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office – End of Watch: December 21, 1932
In conjunction with National Police Week, please join us as we take time to honor the memory of local officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Remembering Those Who Have Made The Ultimate Sacrifice. Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Brian J. Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Please RSVP to Rebecca Dorton by calling 540-868-1360 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of April 18th
Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, April 18:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $9
- Child (under 12): $6
- Military: $7
- Student (college): $7
- Senior: $7
- Matinees, All Seating: $6
Other movies coming soon to Royal Cinemas:
- “Avengers: Endgame”
- “Long Shot”
- “POKEMON Detective Pikachu”
- “John Wick 3”
Humane Society sees rosy future after 2018 “fiasco”, announces new programs for animal shelter
It was all good news and good fun at this year’s recent annual dinner meeting of the Human Society of Warren County compared to what some members termed “the 2018 fiasco.”
The board of directors was and is functioning well, there’s a new and promising animal shelter director on board, adoptions are mostly up, fund-raisers, including a couple of big ones, are back on track, and the accounts are in the black.
A mid-year membership meeting and a board retreat were held shortly after last year’s annual meeting leading to a revival of a then flagging organization.
The dinner at the Bowling Green Golf and Country Club was a small-ish affair for an organization with membership in the hundreds, but sufficient of a quorum to re-elect president Ellen Aders, Amy Thurman and Deb Myers, to the board.
Aders opened the meeting by crediting the vestiges of last year’s board – there were a couple of resignations announced after the 2018 annual meeting – coming together and correcting past mistakes while at the same time introducing new goals to benefit staff and the homeless animals they are charged with caring for.
The appointment of a new executive director, Meghan Bowers, effective last December, was considered a huge step forward. She was lauded by Aders for advancing a “legacy giving plan” allowing animal lovers to give shelter donations through their wills. Aders drew a few gasps in announcing among new objectives the revival of an old plan to build “our own spay and neuter clinic” and to purchase outright the Progress Drive shelter facility. For the shelter staff led by manager Kayla Wines, she promised to look into better pay and benefits for staffers that would include health insurance and a savings plan, similar to the national 401K savings program.
Unlike certain other organizations in the town and county, treasurer Michelle Kosiorek was able to report “a clean audit” for the year, and a net income over expenses of $7,969. It cost $610,768 to run the shelter last year; gross income was $618,737. While Warren County underwrites about half of the expenses, the shelter received some $36,000 in grants; and $109,000 through its “Save the Paws Alliance” program involving 22 major donors.
The animal banks one sees on store and office counters around town raised $3,458 last year. Fundraising events, which suffered last year when the Society dropped the ball on the popular “Waggin’ for Dragons” boat race on the Shenandoah River, nevertheless realized $41,600 from individual fundraisers supported by volunteers and the general membership. Sixteen corporate sponsors also contributed, thus helping HSWC to remain in the black at year’s end. HSWC hopes to emulate past years net receipts ($40,000 plus on average) with the re-emergence of the boat race in August of this year.
Significantly Aders singled out the scores of volunteers (staff volunteer coordinator is Sue Wagoner) who zeroed in on directly helping the homeless animals, principally dogs and cats, and her board members (Julie Covert, vice president; Michelle Kosiorek, treasurer; Amy Thurman, secretary; Katrina Meade, Amy Cavalier, Melania Catron, and appointee Debbie Myers). For additional praise, she singled out Thurman, a former HSWC president, who was invited to bring her experience to the board mid-year and remains this year as board secretary.
She said 22 foster families helped 113 cats and five dogs in 2018 and 123 volunteers provided 3,589 hours of service to the shelter. Caroline Craig topped the volunteer group by contributing 500-plus hours of service, the gold standard. Aders herself contributed 250-499 hours reaching the silver level. Other bronze medal (100-249 hours) recipients were: Ruth Lewis, Terry and Virginia McKinnon; Katrina Meade; Abbe Mulvena; Robin Whittington; and Michelle Kosiorek. “Sheer Elegance Pet Boutique” was honored with the Community Partnership Award.
Executive director Bowers reserved most of her podium time to recognize “our leadership team” whom she identified, and introduced as being responsible for maintaining a high – 95.7% “save” rate (dogs) and $94.4% “save” rate for cats, thus continuing the Julie Wagner shelter its “no kill” status for another year. Michael Kerns, feline team leader, received special recognition for his 15 years service at the shelter.
Bowers, on behalf of last year’s staff work before she arrived, advised 930 dogs and cats that were adopted out. “A big thank you to our adopters…we couldn’t do it without you,” she said. In addition, 270 “strays” were reclaimed by owners.
After the meeting, Bowers said a new animal transportation van purchased last year would be recognizable by its “wrap” – a new paint job prominently identifying HSWC – later this week – thanks to the late Pearl Zigler and the Rotary Club of Front Royal.
LFCC Fauquier: Job Fair scheduled for April 24, 1-4 p.m.
Nearly 60 employers have signed up to meet with job seekers at the Spring Job Fair, 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24 at LFCC’s Fauquier Campus. A free interview etiquette workshop starts at 4 p.m.
Additionally, the college is offering a free resume writing workshop Wednesday, April 17 from 1-4 p.m., ideal for those planning to come to the fair the following week.
LFCC Workforce Solutions and Economic Development Coordinator Donna Comer says there will be a wide variety of employers represented, from law enforcement, to parks and recreation, to the construction and trades industries, to hospitality.
“And, that’s just scratching the surface,” she says. “Now is the perfect time to start, change, or enhance your current employment situation.”
The two workshops are being led by Marty Bywaters-Baldwin, director of Workforce Services for Rapphannock Goodwill Industries Inc. and Virginia Career Works – Culpeper Center.
“These workshops are so beneficial because they help eliminate any intimidation someone might feel when preparing for an interview,” Comer says. “The workshops will help draw into focus all of the things an applicant might have to offer a business. Often people are engaged in far more than they realize and simply need an objective party to help them see the skills they have been using.”
With so many of our work-related interactions handled digitally, it can be unnerving to interact face-to-face, she notes.
“Presenting ourselves in front of others takes a little bit of practice and the workshops will provide some tips on ways to get started and how to feel more comfortable,” Comer explains.
Those planning to attend the job fair are asked to register at www.lfccworkforce.com/jobs. Doing so enters you into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card.