St. Joseph’s Regional School Observes Veterans Day
by Robyn Hatch
St. Joseph’s Regional School recently held their second annual Veterans Day Observance Program, put together by the Salem JROTC Cadets. After the students were processed into the gym, opening remarks were made by Emma Kezer. The Salem Memorial VFW and Ladies Auxiliary Post 8546 welcomed everyone to enjoy this celebration.
A brief introduction was made by Mrs. Ruth Hasset, the school principal. Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Thomas Puzzo, who leads the Salem High School drill team, introduced his cadets and led them into a drill procedure. The students sitting on the floor couldn’t keep their eyes away from them.
Freda Smith presented the school with a flag that once flew over the state capital, which comes with a signed certificate donated by Senator Judd Gregg. Next was a flag ceremony that, again, kept the students spellbound.
The guest speakers, retired Lieutenant Colonel and past Department Commander of New Hampshire Gene Pawlik, talked to the students much like a grandfather figure. He spoke at their level and easily got respect from everyone.
Emma Kezer took a moment to announce the Patriot’s Pen Essay winners, with first place going to Josh Buscemi (8th grader from St. Joe’s). Shawna Casey (home schooled from Salem) took away second place, Marissa Provencher (6th grader from Woodbury) took away third place, and Ryan Fredette (7th grader from St. Joe’s) took 4th place.
Closing remarks were made, then the Ladies Auxiliary presented patriotic gifts to everyone in remembrance to this special day. The principal did the final closing remarks, and all left with a new look at patriotism.
WHY AMERICA’S VETERANS SHOULD BE HONORED
by Josh Buscemi, First Place Winner
A veteran, whether active duty, reserves, discharged, retired or deceased, is someone who, at one point in his or her career, carved a blank check made payable to The United States of America. This was for an amount up to and including his or her own life. They gave their time, energy, and life, merely to leave behind family, friends and loved ones. They made the ultimate, often necessary and obligatory, sacrifice — their freedom. Their service to our country is more than commendable, it is often overlooked. Some risked their own lives, lost other family members and friends, but they never abandoned hope and always remembered allegiance. They may have experienced something so horrendously atrocious and bloodcurdling that their own lives would never be the same. They took pride protecting our country so we can live in a safe and secure environment, free from the dangers that only they would encounter.
The veteran should be honored because some have died for the freedoms that most in America take for granted. Others may come home not whole at all. Often, some will lose not only their lives, but a limb or two. Some may come home with shrapnel in their body or may have post-traumatic stress disorder.
We must also honor those individuals who served their nation in the past and helped shape this country into what it has become today. My great-grandfather served this country through a lifetime commitment. He served in three wars. He understands the ultimate sacrifice one makes when enlisting in the military. I also have an uncle who is currently serving his country. Both have very different job titles, but it does not matter what the job or field one enters. What matters is the service, dedication, and sacrifice that is made and the respect and recognition that should be given.
It is appropriate to honor veterans on Veterans Day and to remember their sacrifice on Memorial Day. They are more than deserving of our utmost respect, honor, and distinction. America should never forget their sacrifices, what they gave up for OUR freedom.
Have You Met – Retired Lt. Col. Edythe C. Sheridan
by Andrea Dannewitz
The date was March 12, 1951 when Edythe Sheridan officially enlisted in the United States Army Nurse Corps. Her first tour of duty assignment was Korea. She was a 1st Lieutenant during the “Forgotten War.” Before enlisting with the Army she worked as a private duty nurse, but didn’t find it to be her calling. The idea of enlisting with the military seemed like the right thing for her to do. She is glad she did. She began her 20-year military career as a nurse in an obstetrician ward while stationed in the United States. As she recalls, the first concern she expressed to the Chief of Nurses was, “I’ve never worked in obstetrician medicine before.” The Chief of Nurses told Edythe, “Babies all come from the same place, and that has not changed.” Edythe learned quickly how true that was, and the work wasn’t as difficult as she at first thought. Edythe had worked in surgery and emergency medicine, so obstetrician work wasn’t something she had experienced.
Throughout her military career, which ended with her retirement on April 30, 1971, Edythe held various ranks in the Army Nurse Corps. Her entry rank of 1st Lieutenant during the Korean War led to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. She then held the rank of Captain during her tour to Germany, which resulted in the nickname “Auntie Captain,” the name given to her by the German orphans she befriended during her tour of duty. She moved up to the rank of Major during the Vietnam War and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
On Veteran’s Day this past week Edythe recalled during her military career what had the most impact on her life personally. This is a woman who chose serving her country instead of marrying, having children, or working an average job. She is a true Patriot who has seen so much, yet only few words can be put together to describe what she took in during her 20 years with the United States Military. Edythe knew it was the German orphans that impacted her life greatly. Once World War II ended, many German children were left orphaned. Nuns took them into convents and orphanages opened up everywhere. While Edythe was assigned to stay in Germany, she befriended the children and nuns living in a convent near her station. She grew fond of the children who needed someone most – the orphans left behind when the war was over. Edythe fondly remembered Tuesday the children who would pile into a car with her and go off to town. These children loved their “Auntie Captain.” Edythe chuckled when she remembered a particularly silly moment, “One time, I took several of the orphaned girls with me to the car wash, just to go for the ride. Well, I ended up taking them through the car wash at least 3 more times because they got such a kick out of it. To see them get to enjoy things really made an impact on my life.” She wishes she could have gone back for another tour of duty when her original tour ended, but it never happened. Instead she was stationed in Vietnam. She remained in Vietnam until March 11, 1969.
Edythe was also stationed stateside during her career. She was in Tacoma, Washington at the time of her retirement in 1971. She came out of the military quite decorated. She earned her Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, a United States Army Nurse Medal, an Army Nurse Medal with Cluster, a Vietnam Service Medal, a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device, Army Commissioned Reserve Medal and an Army Commission with Cluster.
She is very proud and feels she did the right thing serving our country. Who could disagree? She has all the reason to be so proud. At 90 years old, this lucky girl can even still sport her uniform. Edythe has also stayed as active as she can in Veteran’s Affairs. She is a member of the AmVets Department of Massachusetts. She also volunteers her time once a month and on special occasions to her fellow Veterans at the Manchester VA hospital.
When asked what Veteran’s Day means to her, Edythe thought long and hard before she answered. She said, “I’d like to think of it as a day of importance to all who have served this country. And I don’t understand why more Veterans don’t participate in parades or other Veteran’s Affairs.”
Dictionaries Gifted to Fisk
by Robyn Hatch
Once again, the Salem Rotary Club presented brand new dictionaries to the third graders in the Salem school district. This is done yearly, and is now at the point where the students become very excited when receiving their new dictionary.
The people in attendance from the Rotary made a game out of this delivery, by asking the kids questions about words and seeing who could find the answers the quickest. Many details of this book were pointed out, like the longest word (last page). This has come a long way from the old, dry, dreaded book. Now the cover is even bright, and the book itself is full of surprises.
Nice job, Rotary, on giving the students a new adventure to call their own!
The Salem Rotary Club getting involved
Annalise checking out the longest word in the dictionary