On Friday, November 12, St. Albert the Great School presented their annual ‘Military Salute to Veterans.’ This annual tradition begins with the sixth-grade students interviewing someone currently or formerly in the military, and then writing an essay about their service, which is then presented to the class. A Veteran Video Salute was also created because most Veterans could not join in the day physically, due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The day started off with a celebration of mass, complete with a presentation of handmade quilts by the parish’s ‘Quilts of Valor’ ministry to three of the Veterans: Paul Conroy, Joseph Eid and Joseph Greiner. Michael Wright from The Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism (NEOPAT), presented $500 scholarships to four sixth-grade students: Brooke Beran, Madeline Boncek, Evan Dolan, and Jacob Kyker. Mr. Wright praised the students for their dedication and commitment to Veterans of our armed forces and encouraged the student body to ‘continue to honor the memory of those we’ve lost.’
Following Mass, the students assembled in the church hall for a question and answer session with the three Veterans who received the quilts, as well as Sarah Nielsen and Wally Ohler. For more than 50 years, Ohler (also a Veteran of the United States Army and head of the Ohio Veterans Relief Organization) has worked tirelessly to serve Veterans at home and abroad through collecting donations, letters of support and more. Ohler recounted his time in the armed forces and expressed why he continues to do what he does by saying, “It’s important to teach these young men and women that this country is represented by Americans who want to make this world a better place. We need to continue to sow seeds of kindness.”
The students wrapped up the day by visiting stations where they made centerpieces for the local VA, assembled care packages to be mailed overseas with donations brought in from the rest of the students in the school, made patriotic bracelets and cards, and more.