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