Honoring veterans at Martin Avenue school


At Martin Avenue Elementary School, flags waved high in the hands of students in honor of veterans on Nov. 13 following Veterans Day. Gathered in the gymnasium, they listened attentively as local veterans shared of their time serving our country.

“They are our heroes, and we are fortunate today to have them here as our friends and our neighbors” said Martin Avenue Principal Michael Yannucci.

Kindergarten through sixth- graders prepared letters, poems, and speeches in gratitude of veterans, some sharing them in front of the school. Fifth-grade students creatively shared their thoughts on Veterans Day in a student video presentation.

“These are the things the veterans sacrifice to keep us safe.,” shared one of the students. “Being a veteran is a very important honor to have. We should be proud of our veterans.”

Students welcomed Gary Glick, past commander of the Department of New York Jewish War Veterans of the United States — and grandfather to a student of Martin Avenue Elementary School — as he shared his sentiments on what it means to be a veteran.

“We put our hands up when we were 18 years old to serve out country, and we still serve our country” he said “We take care of all the veterans we can take care of, it’s an important thing that we do.”

Students eagerly listened as Glick shared stories and histories of other war veterans that came before them. These anecdotes included the story of that of local veteran for whom the JWV Post 652 is named, Ensign Lawrence D. Solowey — former Merrick resident and graduate of Mepham High School.

Veteran Frank Colon Jr. shared anecdotes of his father, also a veteran, who taught fifth-grade at Martin Avenue, many years ago. Colon himself, a resident of Rockville center, also teaches flag etiquette along with other veterans.

“They have so many stories of what our little town, North Bellmore, Bellmore, has done to serve our country,” said Yannucci of the local veterans.

“Thank you for your service, we will remember you,” sang the students in unison, as they performed a song prepared for the visiting veterans, veterans in their families, and all veterans who came before them.