Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School hosted its annual Memorial Day assembly on Friday, May 26, 2017 to honor and remember those who served this country.
Veterans and guests arrived at MVMMS at 8 a.m. for breakfast, and then proceeded into the auditorium at 9 a.m.
Principal Conway and eighth grade students Maeve Fogarty and Ryan Constantino hosted the assembly, which began with the Melrose Middle School Band playing “Marches of the Armed Forces” during the processional.
“It is an honor to host this assembly each year to honor our living and fallen heroes,” Principal Conway said. “It was a great event that brought together students, veterans and community members to pay tribute to the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made throughout the years.”
Veterans Service Agents Ryan McLane and Alicia Reddin, along with Major Bob Driscoll introduced the guests of honor: five World War II veterans and veterans of the Gulf War (Operations Desert Storm/Operation Desert Shield).
Earlier this month, as part of Operation Recognition, Gulf War veterans traveled to Washington, D.C. with MVMMS students. The “operation” trips are part of a program that honors a distinct set of servicemen and woman every year. Veterans are paired with students, who complete research projects and present their findings during a trip to the nation’s capital to view their monuments.
Tuft’s University Dean James M. Glaser gave remarks, teaching students about this country’s history and how, in time, the nation has always worked to correct its mistakes and injustices.
Eighth grade student speaker Christian Carrieri told the audience that every year he remembers the sacrifices his uncle and grandfather made for this country. During an annual visit to Sarasota, Fla. with his family, he pays a visit to the Sarasota National Cemetery, where his uncle was laid to rest three years ago, and is reminded once again of the sacrifices of others. Fellow Eighth Grader, Adrianna Centrella, also shared poignant words reminding students of the sacrifices so many have made to afford them all the opportunities they have today.
“Visitors are immediately drawn to its greatness and significance,” Carrieri said of the cemetery. “The perimeter is decorated with installations of art, from bronze statues of eagles and marble slabs depicting wartime stories to powerful photographs from the Civil War to present day.”
U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark made a special trip to the assembly and spoke to students about the importance of supporting their veterans. Also in attendance was State Rep. Paul Brodeur, Mayor Rob Dolan and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
Following the assembly, students decorated three memorials located on the school campus with flower. These included the Knoll Memorial for World War I veterans, the Flag Pole Memorial (in honor of Mario DiMeo, a World War II Prisoner of War veteran), and the World War I Memorial for Melrose High School graduates, located between the high school and MVMMS.