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Park Avenue salutes area veterans during annual celebration

on November 8, 2019

Cute kindergarteners wearing festive hatsPark Avenue Elementary students, faculty and staff saluted the bravery of area veterans on Nov. 8 during its 11th annual Veterans Day celebration.

Red, white and blue were the colors of the day during a patriotic program featuring performances by the district’s Wire Choir, soloists Josh Cornelius and Olivia Holland, and students — who sang the National Anthem, “This Land is Your Land,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.”students singing

The Warwick Valley VFW Post 4662 solemnly presented the colors. 

Acting Principal John Russo reminded students, faculty, staff and guests it will always remain important to express gratitude to those who served the nation and were in harm’s way to protect freedom and liberty.

“To our men and women in uniform, past, present and future, God bless you and thank you,” he added.

lst Lt. Shane Connolly speaking via videoArmy 1st Lt. Shane Connolly, a Warwick Valley graduate, spoke to students, faculty, staff and veterans in a video from Wheeler Army Air Field in Hawaii, where he is stationed as a helicopter pilot. His video presentation included showing everyone what he does in his role as a pilot, with students watching in awe as helicopters flew in formation over the Hawaiian Islands.

“Serving in the military isn’t always easy,” he said. “To the veterans…know that’s not forgotten. You are always remembered. Thank you for inspiring people like me to put on this uniform.”

To the students, 1st. Lt. Connolly reminded them of two important things.Wire Choir performing

“Respect adults and work hard in school,” he said. “If you do that every day, you will be successful in life.”

Veterans standing as names are calledSuperintendent Dr. David Leach read the names of all veterans in attendance, allowing students to hear the varied roles each had in their branch of service. Students who had their veteran grandparent, parent or other family member attending the event proudly sat next to them and watched as each veteran stood when his or her name was called.

Students understood the importance of Park Avenue’s celebration  — which happens through the partnership of Park Avenue’s PTA, faculty, staff and the community —   and commemorating Veterans Day annually.

“The veterans helped us to stay safe and we should thank them,” said fourth-grader Maggie Maiorana. “That way, they will know that we are very thankful for them.”   

Visit the district’s Facebook page to see a photo gallery of Park Avenue Elementary’s Veterans Day celebration.      

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