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The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 recalled this Veterans Day 2019

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Officials from the Giles B. Cook Post 53 of the American Legion again hosted Front Royal’s Veterans Day ceremonies on the grounds and in the street in front of the Warren County Courthouse. The marching bands of Warren County and Skyline High Schools and Randolph Macon Academy were on hand, as well as a color guard of R-MA cadets.

RMA Color Guard. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

The weather cooperated with sunny and balmy temperatures the day before snow flurries have been predicted for the area.

Post 53 Commander Rick Kinsey hosted the event, introducing veterans present and speakers including Marine vet and Front Royal Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock and keynote speaker John F. Kokernak, U.S. Army retired.

Tribute was paid, not only to those who have served and sacrificed, but those family members left behind to ponder whether their loved ones will ever return home.

John F. Kokernak, U.S. Army retired was the guest speaker.

“You know it’s a pleasure to be here because I have been at (battle site location), I have seen the poppies, I know about those kinds of things; I’ve been to the wheat field, I’ve been to Iwo Jima. I know these battlefields,” Sealock said of the respect paid to those who have served, adding, “but I sat there today thinking about things for the service I thought about the forgotten ones. The one who are left behind during the deployments and time overseas, those people, the Gold Star mothers, the spouses, the children, the family as a whole, the parents. These people are forgotten in my estimate, and I always think of those who do not return – what effect did it have on these individuals and families? For that, I welcome you to this great celebration,” Sealock concluded.

The vice mayor’s remarks echoed what makes this annual celebration that began as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of “the war to end all wars”, World War One on November 11, 1918, so special. The honor of service and sacrifice of all impacted, both on the battlefields of the world, and those waiting anxiously at home for their return; as well as the enduring desire for a peace achieved through a commitment to international justice for all nations that will make those sacrifices of war someday a less necessary part of our collective history.

Armistice Day, now Veterans Day, is traditionally celebrated at 11 a.m., November 11. That was the moment when the guns along the fronts of World War One fell silent a final time in 1918 as the Armistice to end that war was achieved.

RMA Cadet Kiyesioluwa Abiodun plays taps.

The poppies Sealock referred to on this 101st celebration of service and an end to war come from a poem from World War One “In Flanders Fields”. The poem, often referenced at these services, was written in May 1915 by Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae. Its impetus is believed to have been McCrae’s conduct of the field burial service for Lieutenant Alexis Helmer in the absence of a company chaplain:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

See Front Royal and Warren County’s celebration of Veterans Day 2019, including keynote speaker John F. Kokernak’s full remarks and the laying of the wreaths in this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

Uh oh, somebody forgot to turn the Courthouse Bell Tower clock back to standard time – it was really 10 till 11 AM as the traditional time of 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month commemorating the Armistice that ended World War One in 1918 approaches. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

The R-MA Color Guard helps launch Front Royal and Warren County’s 2019 Veterans Day ceremony.

There were no Gold Star mothers present this year.

Maybe they won’t have to grow up to fight for international justice between nations – it’s a nice dream.

Nov. 11, 2019 was a beautiful fall day with sun and temperatures in the 60’s.

Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock invoked the poppies of ‘The Fields of Flanders’ poem in acknowledging those family members who wait anxiously for the return of their loved ones from battlefields around the world.

An R-MA bugler blows the traditional Taps in memory of those who didn’t return from the battlefields.

Memorial Wreaths were laid in several locations on the courthouse grounds.

The three town high school marching bands, from left, Skyline, R-MA and Warren County, gave a musical launch to Veterans Day.

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Community Events

Riverton Church Symphonic Winds Christmas Concert

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The Riverton Church Symphonic Winds presented their annual Christmas Concert on December 8, 2019. The Royal Examiner’s camera was their to capture the event. The Riverton Church will be hold two special Christmas Eve services. At 4 pm will be their family service and at 7 pm a candlelight service.

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Community Events

American Heritage Girls serve community

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American Heritage Girls (AHG), a faith-based character development program for girls ages 5 to 18, is making an impact by serving in the community. Recently, the girls in Troop VA2206 served by performing a Christmas caroling program at Fox Trail Senior Living.

“Service is the practical expression of a girl’s faith,” says Patti Garibay, AHG Executive Director and Founder. “Watching girls grow in their faith and discover their God-given purpose through the development of servant hearts is the greatest achievement of AHG.”

AHG members Grace Jenkins, Corinne Daily and Adelaide Griffeth perform “Silent Night”.

Faith-based organizations like churches and schools and civic organizations “charter” (partner with) AHG Troops to achieve their ministry goals for youth. With an emphasis on faith, service, and fun, AHG programming includes more than 240 badges, service projects, leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences. Troops are led by adult volunteers who facilitate the AHG Program while encouraging girl leadership.

On Thursday, December 5, Troop VA2206 took their Christmas caroling service project to Fox Trail Senior Living. Led by adult leaders Melodie Murray and Ashley Clark, the girls retold the Christmas story for Fox Trail’s residents using both song and Scriptures. While honoring their commitment to community outreach, this particular service project helped girls to develop valuable skills, such as public speaking and musical talents. Troop VA2206 will continue their commitment community service on December 14 when they lay Christmas wreaths on veteran’s graves at Winchester National Cemetery.

Troop VA2206 spend time with Fox Trail residents after completing their service project.

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Community Events

Skyline High School’s Environmental Science, Ecology, and Green Team loves the Earth from the bottom of their hearts

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On December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, Skyline High School’s Environmental Science, Ecology, and Green Team students were able to complete an Action Project began by their predecessors in January, thanks to the financial support of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Walmart, Front Royal/Warren County Anti-Litter Council, Warren County Education Endowment, and Community Participants.

The goal of their project was to raise awareness of the plastic pollution problem that we have in our waters. Students and Samuels Public Library sold organic, fair trade and GOTS certified, reusable canvas bags from Gallant International, along with a story book about an animal that suffered due to our plastic waste problem, written by Ellie Jackson. For every bag and book sold, students were able to give a bag and book to a kindergarten student in Warren County Public Schools.

Nearly 400 bags and books were distributed during the educational assemblies in which SHS students shared lessons about how the kindergarten students can reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to help our aquatic friends.

Parts of the lesson included reading “Duffy’s Lucky Escape,” signing and singing “Here to Do Our Part, Love the Earth from the Bottom of Our Heart,” a song written for this purpose (sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star), and the distribution of a WCPS Earth Steward sticker, coloring sheet, song lyrics, bag, and book. It was a wonderful experience for the SHS students to be able to put their learning into action… to have a change of pace, share a wholesome message, and give meaningful gifts to our community’s young Earth Stewards.

A few bag/book combos remained and were raffled off to the kindergarten teachers and aids. Ellie Jackson also donated sets of her books to Samuels Public Library and each elementary school library. Several donated sets from the author remain if you have an elementary school library that would like a set of the books.

Also remaining are a few of the organic, fair trade and GOTS certified, reusable canvas bags that Gallant International donated to the group. These bags are for sale for $20 with the proceeds being used to support the group’s current and future action projects, one of which is the Community Earth Day Celebration coming up April 18. Please, save the date! Contact Kara Lewallen for more information at klewallen@wcps.k12.va.us or (540) 631-0366 ext. 31131.

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Valley Chorale of Front Royal Annual Christmas Concert

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The Valley Chorale of Front Royal performs their annual Christmas Concert at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church. Photo and video  by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner.

The Valley Chorale of Front Royal (formerly the Front Royal Oratorio Society) held it’s annual Hometown Christmas Concert Sunday afternoon, December 8th at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church. The Chorale has been bringing choral music to the northern Shenandoah Valley since 1965. As the area’s longest-established community chorus, their aim is to put great choral music at the heart of civic and community life and, in so doing, entertain, illuminate and uplift our families, friends and neighbors. The men, women and youth in their current roster of singers come from Frederick, Clarke, Warren, and Rappahannock counties.

This year the Chorale has a new Artistic Director, Dr. Ryan Keebaugh at the helm. Noted for his “energetic, expressive, concise, insightful, and sensitive” conducting (The Washington Post), Ryan’s versatile and vibrant musicianship has distinguished him as a leading music educator and conductor.

At the end on the concert two young ‘future members’ joined the chorale for the encore number. They welcomed Amanda Baldwin, age 10 and Stephanie Fultz, age 8 to join them on stage.

For more information on the Valley Choral of Front Royal visit their website at: http://valleychoraleoffrontroyal.org/

The Royal Examiner was their and shares the concert with you.

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Community Events

Open House! Annual Holiday Pottery, Ceramic and Art Show

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Arline Link with Mike McCool at the Kiln Doctor. Photo and video by Connor Clark, Royal Examiner.

On Sunday, December 8th, Explore Art & Clay at the Kiln Doctor is having their Annual Holiday Pottery, Ceramic and Art Show at 100 East 8th Street in Front Royal. The Royal Examiner stopped by on Saturday to see what was planned for the big event on Sunday, from 1pm to 5pm.

Want to shop local for the Holidays? Well that’s a fantastic idea! This is the 5th Annual Holiday Pottery, Ceramic and Art Show, showcasing all the amazing artists of the area. Art pieces range from mugs, paintings, bowls, cards, and so much more! They’ll have cider and cookies too.

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Warren County Middle School gifted and talented program students showcase their projects

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Warren County Middle School students in the gifted and talented program displayed their presentations for parents and friends this week during a special showcase evening. Teacher Zach Logan welcomed guests and shared a few details about the students progress so far this year. Projects ranged from the Magic of Disney to interesting facts about New Zealand with several biographies in between! Great job by all of the students! Watch this video to see a few friendly faces and hear from Mr. Logan:

Warren County Middle School gifted and talented program students showcase their projects. Photos / Jennifer Avery



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‘Tis the Season

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
13
Fri
6:00 pm Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Dec 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Ruby Yoga will host a Holiday Open House Friday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. with free gentle yoga starting at 6:20, followed by refreshments and door prize drawings.
7:30 pm Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Blue Ridge Singers presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “Canticum Novum:  Sing a New Song” featuring some of the finest Christmas choral music across the centuries at one of the most popular events in[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
Dec
15
Sun
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
Dec
18
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]