This Veterans Day, residents of Sherwood Oaks attended a ceremony to honor and thank the living and deceased Veterans who call this UPMC Senior Community home. Organized by resident Harriet Burress and a committee of ten other residents, the event is in its third year.
“We are grateful for the service of all American veterans, and we are especially honored to celebrate those veterans who are now residents at Sherwood Oaks,” said Mark Bondi, president and CEO of Sherwood Oaks. “This event allows our community the opportunity to remember the sacrifices they have made and the courage it takes to defend honor, duty and country.”
Attendees viewed a display of memorabilia in the Sherwood Oaks lobby, including uniforms and medals worn by residents during their time in the armed services, while a brass quartet from the Butler Symphony Orchestra welcomed them on the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 11. Representatives from the local VFW and the Junior ROTC program at Seneca Valley High School presented the colors, and the Seneca Valley chorus performed the national anthem and other patriotic songs.
Sherwood Oaks resident, Phil Stebler, was the master of ceremony. “It was a distinct honor for me to lead the celebration honoring our dedicated veterans who are our heroes, and who sacrificed much to ensure our freedom,” said Stebler, a Marine Corps veteran who served in WWII and in the Korean War.
The ceremony included an invocation from a chaplain who is a resident at Sherwood Oaks and remarks from Dr. Wallace Christy and his wife Barbara, a physician and a nurse respectively, who both served in the Vietnam War and now live at Sherwood Oaks. Working in separate hospitals while in Vietnam, they were one of the first married couples to serve in that conflict.
A wreath for each branch of the military was presented to honor deceased former Sherwood Oaks veterans. The living veterans gathered for a group picture documenting their achievements as members of the military and celebrating the strong community they have created at Sherwood Oaks.
Burress, whose husband is a United States Air Force veteran, has organized this annual event after receiving an email bringing attention to the thousands of World War II veterans dying each year. She is “thrilled and proud” of the successful Veterans Day events hosted at Sherwood Oaks over the years, which would not be possible without the help from her fellow residents and Sherwood Oaks administration, recreational therapy and housekeeping.