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Veterans Day Ceremony

November 10, 2021 - 7:49pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Batavia High School, Veterans Day Ceremony.


Roger Martin typically gets up at 9 each morning, but not this time. He had a wake-up call he couldn’t miss. 

“I got up early this morning so I could be here,” the U.S. Navy veteran said Wednesday at Batavia High School. “I think it’s great they recognize the history of the country and the veterans that serve and protect.”

This was the fifth year of the high school’s effort to recognize local veterans with a special red, white and blue ceremony of all things patriotic, from the Pledge of Allegiance and raising of the U.S. flag to heartening music and words of appreciation.

Martin served in the Navy from 1945-1946. He was a petty officer third-class electronics technician. The 95-year-old Batavia resident took part in the school’s Veterans Day ceremony, one day early to provide veterans with some pomp and circumstance by a concert band, orchestra, and uninformed participants. 

A flag-raising ceremony, a musical tribute of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and words to honor military service people filled the air on the front lawn. High School Principal Paul Kesler thanked the many veterans in attendance for their service and dedication to this country. 

“Men and women like you have protected all of us,” he said. “And we appreciate you.”

Kesler then highlighted veterans who are also on the BHS staff, and gave them a “small token of our appreciation.”

Christopher Gorton is a high school special education teacher and United States Army veteran who served from 1984 to 1992. He earned Army Achievement and Good Conduct medals, and a German shooting award. New to district staff this year, Gorton carries a Commander in Chief’s “challenge coin” that he was given when his unit was honored with its second presidential unit citation from the First Battalion Sixth Infantry Delta Company.

The United States Air Force veteran John Marat is a high school substitute teacher. He served from 1998 to 2005 and met his wife Elizabeth during active duty. Mr. Marat was discharged in 2005, while his wife continued on with military life for 22 years, eventually relocating to the Western New York area.

Don Hawkins is a retired high school special education teacher who served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to1975. He worked at BHS for 30 years and was a specialist 5 during his military service.

Gregory Ciszak is a high school counselor who served for 12 years with the 152nd Engineer Company in the Army National Guard. A staff sergeant and horizontal construction engineer, Ciszak, and his unit were activated to assist with many state emergencies, including snowstorms, floods, and the 9/11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. 

Earth science teacher Christopher Weicher served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to 1991. His service included two combat deployments during Operation Just Cause in Panama and the Gulf War. He received two combat action ribbons, a Presidential Unit Citation and a Meritorious Unit Citation while serving with the Sixth Marine Regiment. 

Martin wished more people had attended, as he enjoyed the morning, he said. It’s important to honor veterans while they are still here, he said. 

“I’m proud to be an American,” he said. “There are not too many of us left.”     

Top Photo: Batavia resident Roger Martin, a U.S. Navy veteran, puts his hand to heart during a ceremony to honor military servicemen and women Wednesday at Batavia High School.

Photos by Howard Owens











October 24, 2019 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in education, veterans, GCC, Veterans Day Ceremony.

Submitted photo and press release:

For more than 20 years, Genesee Community College has invited the public to its Main Campus in Batavia on Veterans Day for two very important events -- welcoming potential new students with an Academic Open House and honoring veterans for their service to our country with a Veterans Day Ceremony.

On Monday, Nov. 11, the tradition continues to host potential students of all ages and their families to Open House from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and the entire community to the annual Veterans Day Honor Ceremony at 12:30 p.m. 

The Academic Open House session will begin with an early bird registration and campus tour at 8 a.m. for those early risers. General registration will be open from 8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. when the program will begin.

During the program's information sessions, attendees will hear from Admissions, Financial Aid, GCC's Student Success Center representatives and more. Then, the hour-long Academic Fair will open promptly at 10:15 a.m., where GCC professors and instructors from across campus gather to showcase their programs, meet and chat with interested students and family members.

Complete campus tours that include the new Richard C. Call (athletic) Arena and Student Success Center as well as the new apartments at College Village, the Library, Book Store, Student Union, Genesee Center for the Arts and GCC's many state-of-the-art classrooms and labs will be from 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. for anyone interested.

In addition, an optional Nursing Program Information Session will begin in room T102 at 12 p.m.

Online registration for the Open House is the best way to reserve a seat for the opportunity to explore GCC.

Whether you are looking to attend college for the first time, return to college to advance your current career, or even launch a brand new venture, GCC's success coaches are specifically trained to guide individual pathways to success.Meet your success coach at Open House!

The campus tour lasts approximately 60 minutes and participants are encouraged to dress comfortably and wear walking shoes. Self-guided tours are also an option, borrowing a digital tablet from GCC's Admissions office.

A virtual tour is also available fully online here

Immediately following Open House, GCC will host its annual Veterans Day Honor Ceremony at GCC's Batavia Campus beginning at 12:30 p.m. featuring community and student veteran guest speakers.

At 1:15 p.m. a complementary lunch will be served to all veterans.

Those unable to attend the event in Batavia are encouraged to enjoy the event live-streamed at: https://www.genesee.edu/home/event-streaming/ or watch the broadcast at one of GCC's Campus Centers in Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw.

GCC is also holding a special Financial Aid Day / Saturday Visit Day on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 from 8 a.m. 'til 1 p.m. featuring admissions and academic program information.

On this day, with an official transcript or copy of a GED, attendees will be able to apply and be admitted on the spot!

Those specifically seeking help with completing the FAFSA forms should register here or visit https://www.suny.edu/attend/events, click on "SUNY Financial Aid Days" and find the Genesee Community College Nov. 23 event to register.

Visit Day walk-ins are welcome; however registration for the event guarantees a one-on-one session with a financial aid expert to help complete the FAFSA application online. Interested individuals are encouraged to call GCC's Admissions Office at (585) 345-6800 with any questions.

With more than 65 affordable degree and certificate programs, online courses, Hyflex learning opportunities and seven campus locations, GCC makes it possible for anyone to achieve his or her higher education dreams.

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