The cafeteria was packed with students and family members for the Marblehead Community Charter Public School’s special Veterans Day presentation last Thursday. That morning, 11 veterans stood in front of the crowd and spoke briefly on their service, eventually answering questions from the audience.
The speakers included MCCPS Facilities Coordinator Bob Erbetta (WWII Navy), Bill Kenneally (Vietnam War), MCCPS Writing Tutor Tony Palladino, Sarah Westwood (Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom), Jenna Dolan (Marine Corps, Operation Iraqi Freedom), Bill Morgan (WWII Navy), Paul McConnell (Navy and Marine Corps, Vietnam), Tim Downey (Operation Desert Storm), Hooper Cutler (Navy, Cuban Missile Crisis) Paul Atkinson (served in Afghanistan) and David Rodgers (Vietnam War).
“Veterans wrote a blank check to their country, and they did a little extra,” said Rodgers. “Thank you for having us here today.”
MCCPS students Charlie Grenier and Wesley Georges presented Atkinson and his daughter Makenzie with a bag of candy, which symbolized 120 pounds of candy students collected for C.A.P.T.S, a Marblehead volunteer nonprofit organization that sends packages to those who serve.
“I want to thank all the veterans for coming here and joining us,” said MCCPS Math Science Department Chair Ellen Lodgen, who organized the event.
The ceremony was held during the MCCPS Community Meeting, which occurs every morning. MCCPS graduate Lizzy Tauro sang the Star Spangled banner to the commemorate the event, and a short film about Veterans Day was presented. Breakfast was served for all attendees.