By Tara Vocino
It was standing room only for the two-hour, in-depth Veterans Day ceremony at Paul Revere Innovation School early Thursday morning.
“Because they didn’t, we receive,” Veterans Services Officer Marc Silvestri said at the podium. “Every day should be Veterans Day. God Bless America, and God Bless the Paul Revere School.”
Children in the chorus, who were dressed in red, white and blue, patriotically waved flags while singing hits like “God Bless the U.S.A.,” “All You Need Is Love” and “What a Wonderful World.” They also shared about Veterans Day. Sgt. Dan Clark traveled from the Cape Cod area to give students the opportunity to shout like the Marines, Air Force and Navy.
Students wrote their own thoughts about Veterans Day and shared them at the podium.
Bianca Pineda gave some facts about the Vietnam War. She said over the 20-year war, 58,220 U.S. soldiers and 1.1 million Vietnamese soldiers died.
“Thank you for the peace you have brought into my life,” Bianca said. “You have made it safe for me to go to school, walk in public and do the simplest things that mean so much to me. You risked your life for my family and I, which takes a lot of courage, so I will honor you until the day I die.”
Leena Kistas said that the Vietnam War was the longest U.S. combat force appreciation, where 2.7 million troops served in the war. She thanked them for their courage.
“I personally don’t know the experience of being a veteran, but I think that it would be a lot of hard work,” Leena said. “I mean – all of the training, practicing and hard things like that.”
Siobhan Zierten said his “Papa,” Thomas Casey Culver, 22, served in the Navy as a Machinist Mate to help the DD933/USS Barry, a ship, run for six years in Newport, R.I. In 1980, the officer-in-charge’s ship patrolled the Persian Gulf, Siobhan added. “I love you, Papa,” Siobhan said. “Thank you, Papa, and all veterans, for your service and being brave.”
Jed Dilai said veterans are superheroes – knights in shining armor – and their helmets are rusty, but that is for their service.
Afterwards, veterans shared their thoughts with The Revere Advocate about the ceremony.
“That’s the real America: when we wave and salute the flag,” World War II and Korea veteran Charles Mackin said after the ceremony; he served as a third-class petty officer, doing maintenance on ships, from 1943 to 1950, and 1950 to 1954. “We have always had a good country that is worth living and fighting for, although we might argue and fight with one another.”
Mackin said he is overwhelmed that the Paul Revere students keep the country afloat and don’t give up on it.
World War II Veteran Morris Morris, 90, who served as a 5th grade corporal technician from 1946 to 1948, felt it was one of the best Veterans Day services that he’s seen. “It pays tribute,” Morris said. “It makes me proud to have served our country.”