P.S. 108 honors veterans

P.S. 108 is once again opening its doors to veterans.

The school will host a special thank you to veterans from the Morris Park community during a school assembly and breakfast on Wednesday, November 3 in the school’s multi-purpose room. Students from the school will once again have the opportunity to interact with the veterans from World War II era, and view artifacts from various conflicts from the Civil War to the Gulf War.

This is the second year the school has hosted the program, which took place last year after school custodian Michael Tierney, who has a passion for the World War II era, befriended many veterans from Morris Park. He took time during his summer break in 2009 to meet with veterans in coffee shops and other locations around the community.

“Michael really went out of his way to get to know many veterans from the area, and he and I began a conversation this summer about bringing the students and the veterans together again for a special celebration,” said P.S. 108 principal Charles Sperrazza. “We wanted to do something to honor the veterans in our community, and we decided to do so with a special assembly in the school.”

Sperrazza said that last year’s celebration was a tremendous success, as children in the school got to meet the war veterans, ask them questions, and see memorabilia from past conflicts. Sperrazza said that last year’s event really brought the school community closer together.

“So many people worked together to make the day a success with their different talents,” Sperrazza said. “We made a museum in the auditorium that had a lot of memorabilia from previous wars, sang songs in honor of the veterans, and elected officials came to the school to give testimonials about the sacrifices these veterans have made. This was followed with a question and answer session with our fourth and fifth grade students.”

Sperrazza said that Tierney was instrumental in making last year’s and hopefully this year’s salute to veterans at P.S. 108 even better. This year’s committee includes Tierney and school employees Linda Copeland, Deborah Rhem, Farhidys Ford, and Teresa Roksvold. Last year, the students also wrote letters and made cards for the veterans, including Joseph Garofalo, a World War II Marine Corps veteran who is looking for a permanent home for his collection of war artifacts, current housed in the lobby of Dormi and Sons Funeral Home at 1121 Morris Park Avenue.

“We thought that this celebration was a great way to show the vets that we are still remembering them, and that young people have not forgotten and will never forget the sacrifices that they made to protect our freedom,” Tierney said.

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