In recognition of Memorial Day, Welsh Valley Middle School recently held a special day of proceedings to honor the memory and sacrifice of all those who fought for and gave their lives in service of our country.
The Dragons welcomed an august cast of Veterans and Servicemen/Women who graciously volunteered their time to participate in this educational programming of paramount importance.
During their time at Welsh Valley, the venerated guests spoke about the history and significance of Memorial Day; reasons individuals decide to enlist; and life experiences from during and after their service. Students also had the opportunity to rotate through different stations where they learned about several specific rituals and experiences that play significant roles in the lives of those who serve.
At one station, students learned about the hallowed practice of military funeral honors, which includes the exacting ritual of the folding of the American flag. Veterans demonstrated and explained the requisite 13 folds to properly complete the process as well as the meaning and symbolism associated with each respective fold.
At another, the Dragons learned about the procedures and protocols that are required to raise the American flag in an appropriate manner, before participating in a live flag raising with Vets and Servicemen/Women on hand. Meanwhile, at the two other stations, students were able to participate in physical fitness challenges similar to those experienced by new recruits in basic training, which really put the Dragons’ cardiovascular capacities to the test!
A huge thank you goes out to Welsh Valley’s special guests, not only for their service to our country, but for sharing their experiences with our students and staff! The visitors who generously volunteered their time were as follows:
- Petty Officer Second Class William Mulliken
- Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Daniel Ervin
- Marine Lance Corporal Johnny Walker
- Marine Sergeant Ryan Klawansky
- Corporal Jesse Giacomucci
- Brian Jackson, Army National Guard
- Staff Sergeant Danny McCollum, E- US Army (Vietnam)
- Dave Caviness, E-4 US Navy (Vietnam)
- David Bruce, E-8 US Marine Reserves (17.5 yrs.) E-8 US Air Force E-8 (17.5 yrs.)
- Fran Burdo E-4 US Marine Corps, E-4 Corporal (Vietnam)
- Elvada Conant, E-6 US Army (Gulf War)
- Gary Giorno, E-5 US Army Signal Corps (Vietnam)
- Naomi Mastrocola E-4 US Navy, Hospital Corpsman
- Danny McCollum, E-5 US Army Reconnaissance
- Ray Stingel, E-5 US Navy (Global War on Terrorism)
- Rick Trivane E-5, US Navy (Cold War, Lebanon/Beirut, Desert Storm)
- Thomas Shallow, Sons of the American Legion.