Boardman students show veterans their appreciation

By Jordyn Grzelewski


Domenica Quick, a first-grader at West Boulevard Elementary, thinks her great-grandfather is special for a lot of reasons.

But on Tuesday, she honored Anthony Marinelli, 93, of Boardman, for one reason in particular: his service in the Coast Guard during World War II.

“It makes you feel more appreciative. You don’t take things for granted,” said Marinelli’s granddaughter Tiffany Hefferon, 25, of Boardman, about having a veteran in their family.

Marinelli was one of about 100 veterans who were honored at West Boulevard, in addition to about 150 veterans who were honored at Stadium Drive Elementary and about 20 at Center Middle School.

West Boulevard students invited veterans to a luncheon, followed by a program in which third-grade students sang patriotic songs.

Stadium Drive Elementary hosted a breakfast and a program.

“We just wanted to do it, first just as a way to honor our family and friends who are veterans, and show we appreciate everything they’ve done,” said Stadium Drive Principal Jim Goske. “And also to show our kids the importance of the sacrifices veterans have made.”

“The boys and girls love Halloween ... but I think they’re more excited for the veterans to come,” said West Boulevard Principal Al Cervello.

One first-grade student was so excited for it that she made her grandfather, Angelo Martino Sr., promise he would be there since he travels a lot for his job.

“I told her, whatever it takes, I’ll be there,” Martino, a Marine Corps veteran, said.

Martino said he believes the meaning of Veterans Day got lost in schools over the years, but that events like this have made kids much more aware of the real meaning behind the holiday.

“They get it. That impresses me,” he said.

“This is a fabulous, fabulous thing,” said Richard Duffett of Canfield, a Navy veteran.

Duffett said he’s been at West Boulevard every year since his granddaughter, who is now in third-grade, was in kindergarten.

He often tells his granddaughter about his military service, he said, and encourages her to join the Navy someday.

One Army veteran at the event, Michael Steinbeck, got to celebrate with all three of his kids who go to West Boulevard. His daughters, Julietta, 7, and Lobellia, 8, said they are proud of their dad’s service.

Other Boardman schools celebrated Veterans Day in a variety of ways.

The high school student body watched a student-produced video, students at Robinwood Lane dressed up in red, white and blue, Center Middle School students invited veterans to a musical performance, and many teachers throughout the district incorporated Veterans Day into their lessons.

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