PENDLETON - There will be a gathering of the armed forces at Pendleton High School, but they will not be marshaling for war.

Wednesday, March 12, has been designated as a day of "Living History" at the school. Local students have been asked to invite family members who are veterans to attend a day-long celebration of thanks to those who have defended our country in the past.

"My father was a veteran, a Marine in the Korean War, and I've been fascinated by war history," said Ken Buckles, executive director of Remembering America's Heroes, an Oregon based non-profit organization. "It always deeply disturbed me that Veteran's Day was just a day off of school,"

Buckles, a teacher and coach, started Living History Day in 1996 at Milwaukee High School. The program has now expanded to schools across the state and has served as a method for today's youth to learn more about their history and draw closer to their own family members, Buckles said.

"I wasn't prepared for the impact it would have on the students, staff and the veterans," Buckles said. "Some of these people have never shared their experiences with their families but they will share them with the students."

Programs will run throughout the day beginning at 8:20 a.m. with a presentation to the entire student by Al Wiener, a Holocaust survivor. The student body will then be spilt into two sections and have an opportunity to hear a presentation by Bill Holoman and Ed Drumond about Tuskegee Airmen or with Albert Smith, who will speak about the Navajo Code Talkers as well as separate scheduled sessions with individual veterans. A luncheon to honor the veterans will be followed by an hour-long assembly to give a special thanks to all those in attendance.

More than two dozen veterans have already committed to attending the special day in their honor including one family that with have two brothers and a son at the special gathering. A special invitation to any veteran who would want to attend has been extended by Pendleton High School Principal Jim Gadberry. Special arrangements have already been made for those needing parking or wheelchair assistance.

For more information call Pendleton High School 276-3621.

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