SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - South Plainfield Middle School gathered together Wednesday, Nov. 11 to remember veterans, both past and present. Veterans entered the gymnasium to loud applause by the staff and students of South Plainfield Middle School. The New Jersey State Police began the ceremony with the presentation of the colors, along with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by the SPMS orchestra, led by Sarah Livecchi.
Vice-Principal Tameika Grier-Dupiche opened the ceremony by welcoming district and town dignitaries. Amongst those present were the Interim Superintendent Dr. Johanna Roberto and Mayor Matthew Anesh. Twenty five veterans attended the ceremony and were welcomed as they entered and found their seats.
Mrs. DuPiche then turned the ceremony over to Principal, Mr. Kevin Hadjuk, who spoke to the students and staff about the meaning of the day, quoting John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
The SPMS band, led by Mr. Andrew Veiss, performed a selection of patriotic songs arranged as a tribute to our veterans. Jordan Lovett, SPMS Student Council President, directed students’ attention to the back of the gymnasium to view a sentimental presentation, showing us how important these brave and selfless men and women are to our freedom.
The South Plainfield Middle School chorus, led by Ms. Shannon Madolin, proudly and beautifully sang a Salute to the Services, a series of individual songs for each branch of the military.
Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. spoke to the students and staff, saying, "We're all one in the United States of America…look at these gentleman in these chairs- it is because of them The United States is one step below heaven."
Mayor Anesh also spoke and reminded those present to "let today be just the ignition to remind you of that debt of gratitude and importance..."to our veterans.
Mr. Hajduk closed the program with thanks to Mr. Blondo, who orchestrated such a beautiful and moving ceremony today, and the music department, who spent countless hours working with and preparing for today. He ended the ceremony by reminding students, staff, and guests of what John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”