ROCKPORT — After a two-year hiatus forced by the COVID pandemic, students at Camden Hills Regional High School are reprising their annual celebration honoring U.S military veterans.

It is called the Veterans Day Breakfast and it will take place on Veterans Day, Friday Nov. 11, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the high school’s Wave Cafe.

Hosted by the CHRHS Honor Society, the event is open to all veterans and their families and the public. It will feature music, speakers and breakfast prepared by school Food Services Director, Mikael Andersson. It is free for all attendees.

Kara Andrews is Co-Vice President of the Honor Society. She has a personal reason for her involvement.

Kara Andrews Photo by Jack M. Foley

“My grandfather served in the Army during the Vietnam War,” she commented. “The Veterans Day breakfast is an important event for me because I am thankful for, and proud of my grandfather’s service. It means a lot to see him recognized by the community for the time he spent protecting our country.”

And for the 60-strong members of the Honor Society, she said the event is “an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for our local veterans and a way for us to give back to those who have given so much.”

NHS Co-President Will Eggena echoed those sentiments, adding, “Part of our inspiration is from our teachers. We have teachers such as Mr. Burns, a math teacher, who is a veteran. We feel that every teacher is a crucial member of our school community, and part of this event is to show our thanks to those teachers who not only are an integral part of our daily lives, but have also served our nation on a larger scale.”

Will Eggena Photo by Jack M. Foley

The years lost to COVID, when the breakfast honoring vets was put on hold, were challenging for the society, but members did not give up reaching out to and honoring veterans.

“The past few years, our club has had to get a bit creative around Veterans Day,” Eggena said, “filming videos and sending out letters to local veterans, but we are extremely glad to be able to bring back this tradition and celebrate these valuable members of our community.”

NHS advisor Melissa Howard said that the break in tradition means that, this year, no members of the junior/senior chapter of the national organization has been involved in putting on the traditional Veterans Day. In past years, it has attracted upwards of 60 veterans and their families, she said. The hope is that at least that many will attend this year as the tradition resumes.

Melissa Howard Photo by Jack M. Foley

Howard has taught social studies at the school for eight years and shares NHS advisor duties with Band Director Craig Ouellette.

Advise they may, but it will be students setting up, serving, bussing tables and then clearing up after it is all over, Howard said.

Camden Hills Regional High School is in Rockport. It serves students from Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, Hope and Appleton and is part of the Five Town Community School District.

For information on the Veterans Day Breakfast, contact Craig Ouellette at 236-7800, ext. 3294, or Melissa Howard at 236-7800, ext. 3310.