Friday, November 11, 2011
By christine keeling
Sixth-grade students continued Austintown Middle School’s tradition of saluting the service of veterans.
The school’s choir and concert band performed patriotic songs Thursday as more than 50 members of the community, teachers and students gathered to honor those who have served.
The district has additional Veterans Day celebrations planned today for eighth-graders at 8:30 a.m., seventh-graders at 9:30 a.m. and at Fitch High School at 9 a.m. All events are open to the public.
“We have always done a good job at celebrating this day,” said Chris Berni, building principal. He said he knows it has happened annually for five years at the new building, and at for least 20 more years when there were two middle schools in the district.
Ed Saccomen, 90, of Austintown thought it was great that the students were honoring veterans. He was at the assembly to see his grandson, Joel Sandy.
“With all the things veterans have done with this country, they deserve it,” Saccomen said.
He served 20 years in the Army, fought in World War II and the Korean War and retired as a master sergeant.
For the most part, he said, people treat veterans well, but he wishes the government would support them more.
The audience erupted with applause as nine veterans stood, but everyone was silent during a video that depicted service men and women as daughters, fathers, best friends and neighbors.
“This brings the community together,” said David Mullane, sixth-grade principal. “It’s one of the things we do that teaches respect, decorum and patriotism.”
Sixth-grader Kailie Weimer said she was thankful for veterans.
She said her grandfather, Bob of Youngstown, tells her stories about serving.
Weimer’s classmate, Sarah Mazon, said her father, Butch, and grandfather Bob Horvath also served the country.