For Our Troops hosts commemorative ceremony


Photo Provided by Jen Barranco

Caption: For Our Troops members stand front row to watch the memorial service. All the members arrived early to help set up chairs and prepare the front of the school to be photo ready.

Jen Barranco, Reporter

Every year For Our Troops (FOT) members organize multiple events that help support and honor soldiers and those who have given their life for our country. The latest event they organized was the Memorial Day service.

The service takes months of in-depth preparation, club members begin to organize the event almost a year before the service.

Waking up at four am in the morning, on Friday May 25 FOT members decorated the front circle with American flags and patriotic pin wheels. Firetrucks and a symbolic bell also lined the front circle.

“I am so exhausted but all the hard work and waking up early is the least I can do for the soldiers that gave their life for our freedom,” club member Megan Anzalone said.

FOT members and club advisor Mr. Greenwood invited the whole school to attend the service and to celebrate the start of Memorial Weekend. They also invited interim-superintendent Verletta White, Christopher Piscitelli, and Veteran Bob Grim to read poems and speak on behalf of the soldiers.

Several news crews interviewed club members and filmed the service, promoting all of the clubs efforts and giving even more recognition to every soldiers sacrifice.

Combined Hereford High School and Woodlawn High School choirs attended the event where they sang the “National Anthem” and “God Bless America” while Woodlawn’s raised the flag. When the flags reached half-mast, 12 white doves were released, signifying peace and prosperity.

“My favorite part of the ceremony was the releasing of the white doves; it was beautiful,” Sophia Franz (’19), a club member, said.

The event started promptly at eight, with Jenna Tognola, president of FOT, introducing and welcoming students and visitors. Overall, poems were read by Steph Joyce (’19), Grim, and veteran Paul Moran.

“I was a little nervous about reading the poem in front of all those people, but I practiced a lot and luckily didn’t mess up at all,” Joyce said.

Additionally, club member Nick Moore (’19) read the names of each fallen alumni. Each was followed by the ringing of the 9/11 bell.

The club even allotted time for a moment of silence for the female Baltimore County police officer killed in duty two weeks ago.

The service “was a huge success and a great day, everything went as exactly as planned,” Joyce, next year’s president of FOT, said. “I’m excited to have next year’s event go just as well.”