Herricks High School recently welcomed four WWII veterans for a significant and educational event held in collaboration with English 12 classes. Tech Sergeant Gil Blum, Staff Sergeant Dominick Critelli, Corporal David Marshal and Seaman First Class Carl Tringali discussed their experiences protecting their country during the war. Blum, Critelli and Marshall served in the U.S. Army and Tringali served in the U.S. Navy.
This initiative was spearheaded by teacher Brittany Ruisi, who was inspired by her sister’s work with a veteran’s hospital. She led students in writing letters of thanks in conjunction with Veteran’s Day and connected with the Honor Flight organization, which aims to send veterans to the Netherlands American Military Cemetery to visit graves of those lost and participate in ceremonies through Mission Margraten Plus. The Herricks students are looking forward to finding more ways to support this effort, and the recent visit served as a first step.
Students welcomed their guests, all of whom hold numerous medals as a result of their heroism and selfless actions. They then broke into small groups, and each veteran shared stories about the challenges faced, lessons learned, roles held, training, machinery, locations and more while serving the country. They also answered questions from students, who learned about the military civilian divide prior to this visit. The gymnasium, where the event was held, was decorated with posters conveying gratitude and appreciation.
—Submitted by Herricks Public Schools