SCHOOLS MARK VET­ER­ANS DAY

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Fran Maye fmaye@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @ken­nettpa­per on Twit­ter

EAST MARL­BOR­OUGH >> Ray Natale Jr. is one of the few re­main­ing United States vet­er­ans of World War II, and he is over­joyed to be hon­ored ev­ery year for the ser­vice he gave to the coun­try so long ago.

“It was an honor to serve,” said Natale, 90, of West Grove at a cer­e­mony Fri­day at Unionville El­e­men­tary School. “I saw a lot and did a lot (while on duty).”

Natale’s four broth­ers also served the coun­try, but he is the last sur­viv­ing mem­ber of his fam­ily.

John Sanville, su­per­in­ten­dent of the UnionvilleChadds Ford School District, said schools re­main open on Vet­er­ans Day to re­mind stu­dents of the sac­ri­fices vet­er­ans made for the coun­try. Ev­ery school in the district had a spe­cial Vet­er­ans Day pro­gram.

“It’s im­por­tant for our kids to know the con­tri­bu­tions of our vet­er­ans,” said Sanville, whose par­ents served in World War II. “It is part of the fab­ric of our com­mu­nity and it’s right we honor them. We have cer­e­monies at all of our build­ings to make sure we rec­og­nize and re­spect all the sac­ri­fices our vet­er­ans have made.”

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, stu­dents who had fam­ily members who are vet­er­ans were asked to bring them to school to be hon­ored. The stu­dents saw a slide show of lo­cal vet­er­ans.

Sanville read a procla­ma­tion from Pres­i­dent Barack Obama stat­ing that the un­em­ploy­ment rate for vet­er­ans is lower than the

“It’s im­por­tant for our kids to know the con­tri­bu­tions of our vet­er­ans. It is part of the fab­ric of our com­mu­nity and it’s right we honor them.” — John Sanville, su­per­in­ten­dent of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District

na­tional av­er­age, and that vet­eran home­less­ness has nearly been cut in half since 2010. “We must con­tinue to pro­vide high qual­ity health care to our vet­er­ans and make sure they are sup­ported,” the procla­ma­tion read.

There are no more liv­ing vet­er­ans of World War I. But there are still 1.7 mil­lion liv­ing vet­er­ans of World War II, which ended in 1945, 2.2 mil­lion liv­ing vet­er­ans of the Korean War, 7.3 mil­lion liv­ing vet­er­ans of the Viet­nam War, and 2.2 mil­lion liv­ing vet­er­ans of the Gulf War.

“We owe a lot to our vet­er­ans and it’s right to re­spect and honor them,” Sanville said. “Not just on Vet­er­ans Day, but ev­ery day.”

Dawn Olden­skin, a teacher at Unionville El­e­men­tary School, said 246 U.S. flags were in­stalled around the school Fri­day, a re­minder to stu­dents that we live in the great­est coun­try in the world.

In Ox­ford, the vet­er­ans’ break­fast was sched­uled for Satur­day morn­ing at the se­nior cen­ter. Mean­while, at Hopewell El­e­men­tary School, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts came to school in uni­form and par­tic­i­pated in the cer­e­mo­nial flag rais­ing. They also re­hearsed the pro­ce­dure for fold­ing a flag and re­cited the Scout Prom­ise and Pledge of Al­le­giance.

CHRIS BARBER — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Hopewell El­e­men­tary School re­view the pro­ce­dure for fold­ing the Amer­i­can flag prior to rais­ing it on the school’s flag pole in honor of Vet­er­ans Day on Fri­day. With them is Prin­ci­pal Nicole Ad­dis.

CHRIS BARBER — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Hopewell El­e­men­tary School raise the school’s flag on Fri­day morn­ing. About 15 members came in uni­form to honor members of the mil­i­tary and to take part in the out­door cer­e­mony.

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Stu­dents at Unionville El­e­men­tary School stand with vet­eran fam­ily members at a cer­e­mony Fri­day morn­ing hon­or­ing United States vet­er­ans.

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ray Natale Jr., left, a World War II vet­eran, stands with John Sanville, su­per­in­ten­dent of the UnionvilleChadds Ford School District, before a cer­e­mony Fri­day hon­or­ing vet­er­ans.

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