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‘Service and sacrifice’

Holly Glen Elementary celebrates veterans with a ceremony and luncheon

Kathy Chang/The Sun
“This is the future because of all these veterans,” Walter Schaefer said during the school event. The veteran encouraged his audience to acknowledge a veteran they may encounter.

Students at Holly Glen Elementary School in Williamstown learned what it means to be a vet at their Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 6.

“Service and sacrifice,” said veteran Bill Sarino, now a state trooper. “We did this for all of you here, and some of us are still serving to this day. It’s a great experience.

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“My son is actually getting ready to deploy overseas as well …” he added. “The tradition continues. If you see a veteran in uniform out there or a police officer or a schoolteacher or anybody, thank them for their service.”

The ceremony was led by Holly Glen Principal Karen Crossley and also included a luncheon. Veterans on hand included Billy Morrison, Coast Guard; Steve Joyce, Army; Edward Stuart, who served with the Coast Guard in World War II; Charlie Dillon, Air Force; Steve Martin, Navy; Jim O’Toole, Navy; Nate Fields, Marines; Mike Grabowy, Navy; Courtney Fritz, Army; and Monroe Township police officers Nick Marchisello and Sean Barger, who served in the Army.

The school community also honored current veterans Billy Sarino, Army; Joshua Powell, Air Force; and brothers Sean and T.J. Carson, Air Force.

“Today is a special day for Holly Glen,” Crossley noted. “It’s a day where we as a school want to recognize our family members, members of Monroe Township police, community members, members of the American Legion and school district employees who have earned veteran status.”

Air Force veteran Walter Schaefer said it was wonderful coming to the school and seeing the students.

“This is the future, because of all these veterans,” he said, then encouraged the school audience to say hello when they encounter a veteran.

Mayor Greg Wolfe explained the significance of military holidays: Memorial Day honors men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice; POW/MIA Day honors prisoners of war and those missing in action; Armed Forces Day celebrates current military members, as does Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

“We can’t thank them enough for their service,” he said.

During the ceremony, the students handed certificates and red poppies to the veterans and the school’s fourth-grade chorus ended the ceremony with a patriotic song.


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