“They’re our heroes and they’re a part of our staff,” said Canfield Village Middle School fifth and sixth grade Principal Ron Infante, referring to the school’s Athletic Director, Greg Cooper, eighth-grade science teacher Bob Alleman, seventh-grade social studies teacher Mike Kerensky (who organizes the annual event), bus driver Bruce Kirkland, and former student Brian Brooks, who collectively have a history with every branch of the U.S. military.
Guest speaker for the event was Navy Lt. Lance Morrison, who opened by wishing a belated birthday to any Marines present as the United States Marine Corps had celebrated its 236th anniversary the day before.
A graduate of the Ohio State University College of Law, Morrison said that following his graduation, he considered the Air Force, Navy and Marines. He applied and was offered a slot by all three branches. Choosing the Navy, he served five and a half years, providing legal services to the enlisted members.
“I get it,” said Morrison, explaining that he understands that this is a country that people die to get into and willingly sacrifice their lives for. “I will always be a veteran,” he said. “I will always have that mark of pride.”
As the student participants made their way through the posting of the colors and performances of the national anthem and taps, as well as numerous speeches and reflections, the amount of thought and preparation that was put into the event was evident.
“There isn’t a veteran present whose eyes won’t fill,” said Morrison. Whenever a student thanks them for their service, just as the students of Canfield Village Middle School do every year through their Veteran’s Day assembly, it’s always the same, he said.
In addition to the choir at Friday’s Veterans Day assembly at CVMS, student participants, included: Delaney Bresnahan, Della Colley, Karina Conner, Adam Dunbar, Vince Ferrier, Kiel Fizet, Zac Gierlach, Gillian Jennings, Karson Kebetso, Morgan Leonard, Moira Lumsden, Carlie Oddo, Paige Modarelli, Victoria Pacheco, Renee Santisi, Nichole Schmidt, Brandon Seybert, Anne Vallas and Alexis Vincent.