Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day

We observed Memorial Day today with an extended homeroom period that featured two musical performances, a brief history lesson and a tribute to an alumnus who was killed in action 16 years ago.

To start the day, Junior Summer Tracy sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and Senior Melisa Cepeda sang “God Bless America” History Teacher Michael Young explained the history and significance of Memorial Day and the importance of paying tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives to serve in the country’s military — notably Pvt. First Class Evan O’Neill from Whittier’s Class of 2002 who was killed in action in Afghanistan on Sept. 29, 2003.

Evan received numerous awards for his valor including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, and National Defense Ribbon. Throughout the day, students visited the memorial wall dedicated to Evan beside the flagpole.

Mr. Young reminded staff and students what General George Patton said: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

Coffee and pastries were served in the library to honor the veterans who are part of the Whittier staff. They are: History Teacher Michael Young, Machine Technology Instructor Bruce Boisselle, Special Education Aide Denis Cronin, Culinary Arts Aide Forest Thomas, Math Teacher Jim Donahue, Sr., Substitute Teacher John Rumore, Electrical Teacher Joe Young, Auto Tech Teacher Michael Ragusa, Night School Director Dave Cunningham, Maintenance James Razza, Security Guards Andy DeFillippo, Joshua D’Amico, Richard Gaudet, and Bill Grady.

The event was organized by Student Government members and Advisors Chris Lacroix and Andrew Cherouvis.

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Whittier Tech