Cinnaminson Middle School Honors Veterans with Annual Ceremony

Cinnaminson Middle School Honors Veterans with Annual Ceremony

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CMS veterans ceremony

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The Cinnaminson Middle School honored veterans on Tuesday with its annual ceremony. There were 65 veterans in attendance, most of them guests of students.

This year’s ceremony marked the fourth one where students were allowed to invite guests, but the middle school has been holding a veterans ceremony for 10 years now.

The program, which is led by members of the school’s Student Senate, was poignant and well-received.

“The veterans show a tremendous sense of appreciation being asked to come back and talk about their experiences,” CMS principal Frank Goulburn said. “Folks seem to be very happy to be here and recognized.”

The ceremony is close to the heart of Principal Goulburn, whose grandfather was killed in action when his father was just two months old.

Veterans from nearly every branch of the armed forces were in attendance, including the honor and color guards from VFW Post 3020 from Delran.

The Cinnaminson Select Singers performed the National Anthem and the 8th Grade Band performed “America the Beautiful/God Bless America.”

Both performances were beautiful tributes to those who willingly sacrificed for others to be free.

Essays were read by 6th grader Sriram Elango, 7th grader Sean Kennedy and 8th grader Leah Rose that depicted what America means to them.

veterans ceremony

Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart recipient George Bull, Kennedy’s grandfather, was in attendance for the first time.

“We drove up from Williamsburg, Virginia to see Sean read his essay,” Bull said. “I really didn’t have any anticipation, but I was very, very impressed.”

“I was just privileged to be here. I got to meet some of my fellow veterans. Just to shake hands with them was an honor. The patriotic spirit of the community and the kids makes me proud.”

Towards the end of the ceremony, the Cinnaminson Select Singers performed the Armed Forces Salute, singing every branch’s song as veterans stood during their song.

Cinnaminson Superintendent Dr. Salvatore Illuzzi was in attendance to give the keynote address.

Dr. Illuzzi read letters to those in attendance written by a World War I veteran to his mother.

The most telling segment read was that the soldier, identified as Alan, wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

The soldier did not regret his decision to enlist at the age of 19.

“To our veterans, those who didn’t come home and those who did, you were true to your word,” Dr. Illuzzi said.

“For each of you who made this country as special as it is, we cannot extend enough gratitude towards you.”

veterans ceremony CMS

Lili Myers is the president of the Student Senate. Her father served in the Marines, but was not in attendance today due to his work schedule.

“Once you get up there, you sort of calm down a little bit. You feel the importance of it,” Myers said. “You think about how important it is. I’m very happy that I got to take part in this with my fellow students and I got to honor the veterans.”

“I almost got teary eyed at one point, thinking that he served for me. He wasn’t home when I was born. They sacrificed that for you, so you could have a better life.”

Student Senate member Allison McAneny had a guest in attendance for the ceremony.

“My dad was in the Marines for six and a half years,” McAneny said. “I thought it was special and kind of emotional too, especially when they played taps.”

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Jim is the creator and editor of Cinn City Sports. He also created At the Dish, Life With Tony and Enzo and is the owner of JAVFreelancing. He coached baseball for five years, three at his former high school (Holy Cross in Delran, NJ) and two at prominent Division III program Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He has worked for the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, NJ; Metro Networks in Bala Cynwyd, PA; and was the play-by-play announcer for the Camden Riversharks of the Independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for two seasons (2007-2008) on Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM, the student-run radio station at Rowan University. Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and minor in Journalism from Rowan University in 2008. While in school he was the Assistant Sports Director at WGLS for two years and the Sports Director for one year. He also covered the football, baseball, softball and both basketball teams for the school newspaper 'The Whit.' He is the former Sports Editor for the Cinnaminson and Moorestown Patch websites. Jim lives in New Jersey with his wife Nicole, sons Tony and Enzo and dog Phoebe. He can be reached at jimvassallo@cinncitynews.com