Memorial Day at Ashbury Park by David Wronko

On May 26, 2015, in remembrance of Memorial Day, Mr. Wronko, sixth and seventh grade social studies teacher, and his students had an assembly honoring two veterans from two major wars, World War II and the Vietnam War. Those veterans were Lou Parisi, World War II veteran and Wilbur V. Martin, Vietnam veteran. The assembly consisted of three power point presentations, the veterans providing background information about their service, and student questions for the veterans.

The first power point presentation was about the true meaning of Memorial Day. The true meaning of Memorial Day power point was created by Mr. Wronko’s students under the supervision of sixth and seventh grade science teacher Mr. Mason. This power point, which was similar to last year’s, consisted of all the memorials celebrating the service of our brave men and women of the armed forces. Students observing this presentation had learned that Memorial Day was about our country’s brave men and women who were willing to serve to defend the lives of millions.

The second power point presentation was about how the impact weather had on war. This power point presentation was created by Mr. Wronko’s students under the supervision of sixth and seventh grade science teacher Mr. Mason. This power point presentation gave students a background on the kind of weather conditions our brave veterans had to fight in. In addition, students learned that the weather also had an impact on the terrain, if military ships could sail, and if military aircraft could fly.

The final power point presentation was about Arlington Cemetery. This power point presentation was created by Mr. Wronko’s students under the supervision of sixth and seventh grade science teacher Mr. Mason. In this power point, there was background information about how the Arlington Cemetery was created and why the history of this place would never be forgotten. Students understood that if they went on a trip to the Arlington Cemetery, it was to celebrate all those men and women who gave their lives for the United States. In addition, there was also a slide from Mr. Wronko’s trip with his students to the Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. On this slide was a picture of the Enterprise model. Students on the Washington trip learned that the Enterprise was a very powerful aircraft carrier that could hold many fighter jets.

After the power point presentations, Lou Parisi and Wilbur V. Martin gave their own historical background of their service to the country. They stressed also the importance of good citizenship, education, and why those willing to serve should not be forgotten. Questions relating to their life experiences followed.

Special Thanks to Mrs. Zakiya G. Del Orbe, Vice Principal, for assisting with this event.


In my opinion American veterans are really important. I think they are important because they are the heroes who stand up and protect our country, the United States of America, in a time of need. They are real life heroes not like Batman or Superman. Without these veterans we would not have our freedom. They are also a major part of our history. To me they are gold. For instance, the soldiers that volunteered after the tragic events of 9/11 and went after the terrorists showed me that there were people who were willing to defend and protect the citizens of the United States no matter what. Even to this very day there are still soldiers who are in Afghanistan fighting and defeating the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11. Because of this I am proud of these soldiers and once they make a safe return to the United States we the people should give them all the support they need since they will be our veterans.

Besides Afghanistan, our country has soldiers right now in 2014 fighting off a new terrorist organization known as ISIS. That is why when our men and women return from defeating this new organization, we should give them thanks for serving and protecting our country because once again they will be our veterans. Everyone must remember the amount of time that our soldiers serve overseas protecting our country. They are there fighting off terrorists from months to years. These soldiers do not see their families or friends until the job is done. Some unfortunately never see their friends or family again.

In addition to our current soldiers fighting overseas, we must never forget all the veterans who served in World War One, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the War in Iraq. For instance, the soldiers who defeated Germany in World War One tried their very best to ensure ever lasting peace. In World War II if the United States did not defeat the Nazis and Japanese during World War II none of us would be here today. The Nazis and the Japanese at that time wanted the majority of all races wiped out. By the time of the Korean War, if the soldiers who fought for the United States did not stop the spread of communism, today we would not have a democracy.

The same thought applies to the Vietnam War. Finally, if the soldiers did not fight off Saddam Hussein, he would have planned his own terrorist attack on the United States. So if you ever run into a veteran from World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the War in Iraq make sure you say thank you.

Remember that our veterans were the ones who protected our country.
By Juan Lopez

Our American veterans are great. They make me feel happy because everyone knew when these brave men and women were serving the United States that the country would be well protected. We all should appreciate our veterans because they not only fought for our country but also many have died preserving our freedom. For example, many soldiers who are now our veterans hunted down and are still at war with the terrorists who were responsible for the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11/01. In addition, Seal Team Six should be thanked for eliminating the master mind behind 9/11, Osama Bin Laden. This took place on May 2, 2011. These members I assume are now considered to be our veterans and should be praised.

People of today will never forget 9/11. However, many minds are at ease thanks to our veterans who killed many terrorists and Osama Bin Laden. For that as well as many others I am great full. Besides hunting down terrorists, other veterans such as those who served in World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the War in Iraq should also never be forgotten. Those who are still with us should always be saluted. Those who have fallen so that we have our liberties, should never be forgotten. For instance, I would visit the graves of deceased veterans and put flowers next to their carved names. One war that I have studied for a long time, World War II, has always interested me because of our brave soldiers who took on an evil leader known as Hitler. Hitler almost had the opportunity to conquer the world but our brave soldiers from the United States made sure he did not. Many of these brave soldiers are still with us and I ran into a few of them and saluted them even though I was not alive during that time. I realized that if Germany won the war, the United States would not be here. These brave soldiers made sure that the country remained safe and intact.

Veterans who live to tell their stories are incredible people because they have seen war and learned how to survive on the battlefield. This is all because they believed in preserving our freedom that we have today. We cannot forget that many soldiers died for us on the battlefield so we can live our lives. In addition, those soldiers who return from war and become our veterans should always be given thanks and helped out when they need assistance with their lives. We should appreciate how these brave soldiers risked their lives saving our country. To that I say thank you to our American veterans.

By Omar Oseguera

I am proud of our American veterans. These are people who almost died or that did die by risking their lives to save millions. If our veterans did not risk their lives for us we would not be here right now. For example on 9/11/01 something very horrible happened to the Twin Towers in New York. Two planes crashed into those buildings which caused two major collapses. Over thousands of people were killed. The captains on the planes were killed by the terrorists and everyone on those planes were killed as the terrorists crashed those planes into the World Trade Center. After this horrific event many people joined the army to hunt down the terrorists and the master mind behind 9/11, Osama Bin Laden. These people who have returned and are still returning from hunting down these terrorists are our veterans and future veterans. Because of their efforts, they have made the United States a safe place. Furthermore, our current veterans had ended the life of the master mind behind 9/11. On May 2, 2011, Bin Laden was discovered in Abbottabad, Pakistan where he was killed. Thanks to our veterans who have returned from that mission, millions of Americans can sleep at night.

Besides hunting down terrorists, we cannot forget our veterans who served in World War II. They are known as the Greatest Generation. Because of this Greatest Generation of veterans, we are all here today. For instance, World War II began in Europe when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September of 1939. However, in Asia the war began earlier with the Japanese invading China. During this war many Americans went to fight Germany and Japan. After years of fighting, our veterans were successful in stopping Germany and Japan from taking over the world.

In conclusion, I am proud of our American veterans. These are people who stepped up to the plate to make sure that everyone would be safe. From defeating people such as Hitler of Nazi Germany to Bin Laden, the leader of the terrorists responsible for 9/11, our veterans should never be forgotten. Without these people our country would not be here or be protected. Every Veterans’ Day the American people should go to every parade and salute the American Flag with their fellow veterans. In addition, the American people should read poems, stories, and show films all relating to the people who serve our country. I am proud of our American veterans.
By Angel Salmoran

Kobe Miller: What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Me?
To me the Pledge of Allegiance represents the strength and honor of America. For example, the phrase, “I pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” means to give your heart and love to the troops who lived and died in all wars such as the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish American War, World War One, World War Two, Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq. This phrase also means to show love to our first black president, Barack H. Obama.

The next phrase “and to the republic for which it stands” to me symbolizes our right to vote for who we feel will be the best person for all elected offices. This statement reminds us why we live in the greatest nation in the world and that is because we have the right to pick who we want to be president, governor, senator, and congressman or congresswoman. There are many countries who would not allow this because they do not have a democracy.

After “and to the republic for which it stands” states “one nation under God.” To me this means one great nation under the blessing of God who protects us all. Following “one nation under God” is the word “indivisible.” To me it means that the United States is unbreakable. A great example that shows this is the election of our first black president, Barack H. Obama. When Barack H. Obama became president, everyone regardless of race and religion voted for him. Because of this, his election shows how the country is united.

Since the country is united it is unbreakable because no one protested when Barack H. Obama was sworn into office. Finally, the last phrase “with liberty and justice for all” reminds me of when Patrick Henry said “give me liberty or give me death” to King George III. The reason why “with liberty and justice for all” reminds me of Patrick Henry because his statement shows how important liberty is. For example, during the time of the American Revolution, the American colonists had no representation in Parliament. As a result, many like Patrick Henry felt that they would rather have their freedom than be alive. The reason why they felt this way was because they had no rights to do what they wanted to do. Therefore, the American colonists fought against England and won their
freedom. That’s what the Pledge of Allegiance means to me.

Evelyn Villa Carrasco’s Essay:
What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Me?
The Pledge of Allegiance means many things. For instance, when I say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at my school it reminds me of how people serve our country and fight for our freedom. When I think of these brave men and women, I stand tall and am proud to show my gratitude every morning when I say the pledge. Another thing the Pledge of Allegiance means to me are the people who lost their lives on 9/11.The reason why saying the pledge makes me think of the victims on 9/11 is because these people were Americans who were enjoying their freedom and all of a sudden had their lives taken from them. Even though their lives were taken from them, they lived every day of their lives having freedom. In addition, after that horrible event, many people raised and waved the American flag to show respect to those people. When I recite the pledge I think of all those people who raised and waved the American flag across the country to honor those victims. It reminds me that we are all united. In my opinion what reinforced the idea that we are all united were the fire fighters who raised the flag after the dreadful events of 9/11. Their raising of the American flag showed true unification.

Besides 9/11, when I say the Pledge of Allegiance it makes me think about the many stages the American flag had gone through. For example, Francis Hopkinson created six pointed stars in a couple of rows. Betsy Ross made the thirteen star flag. Also there was the fifteen star and fifteen stripe Star Spangled Banner Flag. The people who created each stage of the American flag showed true respect to the United States because each flag had its own unique beauty. But when I say the pledge, all those flags regardless of what stage they were in all represent the one word that unites us all, freedom.

Finally, I feel that the Pledge of Allegiance means is that we are all showing respect to each other. I feel that Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech really enforces that idea. For instance, Dr. King stated in his speech that “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Therefore, the Pledge of Allegiance represents us all. This is what the Pledge of Allegiance, means to me.

Matthew Tomaini’s Essay
What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Me?

The Pledge of Allegiance means a lot to me. According to the first phrase of the Pledge of Allegiance, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” shows how many brave men and women who served for the United States fought to keep our country safe and intact for many generations to come. In addition, this phrase also reminds me of many historical events that took place in U.S. history. For instance, when the United States military fought the Japanese at the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, the odds were against the American soldiers. The Japanese made use of tunnels through inactive volcanoes which were impervious to bombing. As a result, the U.S. soldiers had a difficult time finding and defeating their opponent.

Therefore, the United States at this battle was the ultimate underdog. However, after a successful campaign on one part of this volcanic island, a group of soldiers raised the American flag. This encouraged the American soldiers to continue the fight and not give up. Because of the American flag, the soldiers defeated the Japanese at the battle of Iwo Jima. The soldiers raising the American flag at this battle truly represent the phrase “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the
United States of America.”

Also this phrase reminds me of another major historical event in history which was when the firefighters raised the American flag after the events of 9/11. For example, after the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, the firefighters raised the American flag to show that the United States did not surrender to terrorism. After this horrific event, the firefighters mustered the strength to raise the flag to ensure the American people that the United States did not die.
That scene of the firefighters raising the American flag truly lives in those words of “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.”

The next phrase “to the Republic for which it stands” means that the American flag represents a country that is unique and everlasting. An example of this is that the American people have rights and we demonstrate our rights by voicing our opinions. We are allowed to voice our opinions because we live in a country that has a democracy.

Therefore, our country is one because everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights spells out our freedom in this country and guarantees that everyone will be protected under the law. Democracy and the Bill of Rights are indeed true meanings to the phrase “to the Republic for which it stands.” On another note, from an artistic point of view, the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware River by Emanuel Leutze truly symbolizes “to the Republic for which it stands.” For instance, in the painting, Washington’s posture is strong and robust. His stance represents the words “Republic for which it stands.”

Besides the first two phrases, a word in the Pledge of Allegiance truly shines. That word is “indivisible.” This word means to me that the United States is not divided. Even after the time of the Civil War, our country remains one. For instance, during the Civil War the United States fought not only to end slavery but to keep this country united. Because the country was at war with itself, the United States was on the verge of collapse. If it was not for the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, the word “indivisible” would have disappeared in the Pledge of Allegiance. Because of his leadership the United States, also known as the Union, defeated the Confederate States of America. As a result, the word “indivisible” remains in the pledge. Finally, in my opinion the last phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, “with liberty and justice for all,” has a comforting meaning that all Americans can agree with which is that Osama Bin Laden is no more.
For example, when the United States Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden, this brought justice to the American people, especially to those who lost loved ones on 9/11/01. Barack Obama reassured this justice by informing the American public and the victims of 9/11 that Bin Laden was eliminated from this world. The death of Bin Laden glorifies the words “with liberty and justice for all” because terrorism failed at destroying our freedom and if anyone tries to hurt the American people, justice will prevail.

In conclusion, this essay demonstrates what the the Pledge of Allegiance means to me. We all should remember through the Pledge of Allegiance that we the United States stands together as one and we should honor those who have been fighting in the military for our country.

Khiya’s essay:
What does Veterans Day mean to me?
Veterans Day means to me are the brave men and women who fought and are still fighting for the United States of America. It also means that these brave men and women who served were willing to risk their lives so that everyone in this country can have a good life. We should be real thankful because if our veterans and current soldiers did not fight in a war for us we would not have freedom. When our veterans fought for our freedom that we have today, their sacrifice was tremendous. For instance, these veterans did not see their families, children, and friends for prolong periods of time. In addition, today’s soldiers face the same sacrifice of not seeing their loved ones. The veterans and soldiers of today are beyond dedicated. Their dedication is well displayed on Veterans Day when they stand still and
salute the flag while the National Anthem plays in all its glory. While this scene is taking place, we all can reflect about all of the soldiers who get hurt or have sacrificed their life so we can have freedom.
During Veterans Day, I have noticed on television the families who lost their loved ones during combat. I feel bad for these families because they know the sacrifice their loved ones made to preserve the freedom within our country. I wanted to cry myself because it was so sad. In my own opinion, everyone should be thankful for their service.

It is very hurtful to see people who show no gratitude to our veterans. These people must realize that our veterans and current soldiers serve when no one else is willing. If there was anything I could do for the veterans and current soldiers I would. For instance, I participated with several of my peers putting together an assembly for the veterans. The veterans who attended this assembly were Alfonse Freda (Korean War Veteran), Lou Parisi (World War II Veteran), and George Reed (Vietnam Veteran). During our presentations, we made sure that everyone in attendance understood that these brave men that were here today risked their lives so we could have freedom. Veterans Day is also important because the ones who have served and are currently serving have gone through a lot. They have to see the horrors of war with people dying around them. Because of this tough sacrifice of enduring the horrors of war, we can hang out with our friends, watch TV, and have cell phones to talk to our friends. In addition, we can go places whenever we want and travel whenever we want. In many countries they cannot do that because they do not have freedom. They live under some form of dictatorship that does not allow people to do much of anything. Also in other countries, vicious governments allow their children to starve. However, because of our government and the people who are serving and have served, we do not have to worry about
starvation. I am proud that I am free. I am proud that I am a U.S citizen. I am proud of all our Veterans and soldiers who fought and are still fighting for my country. On a personal note, my brother is joining the Marines. He leaves in December and I am proud. He’s going overseas. I hope he’s going to
be safe. My grandfather also served in the U.S army. I saw his picture in his army uniform. When my grandfather died the soldiers lifted up his casket standing still, the American flag was draped over his casket. Then after that, they shot the gun up in the air. Being a Veteran is great. What does being a Veteran mean to you?

Anijah Taylor’s essay:

To me the National Anthem has many meanings. First I would like to focus on is the brave men and women that are serving overseas fighting the war on terrorism because there are many phrases in the National Anthem that truly represent their bravery. For example, I feel this way because it says the “bombs bursting in the air.” This reminds me of the men and women fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Every day, these men and women are putting their lives on the line so that terrorism never again reaches the shores of the U.S. In addition, what stands out is the saying of “home of the brave.” “Home of the brave” is very uplifting because what brings this to light is the navy seal six who eliminated Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center and the death of 3,000 people. Second, the words “the flag was still there” reminds me of major events in U.S. history in which the flag gave hope. For instance, during World War II, the battle of Iwo Jima was a horrific conflict in which the United States battled Japan. After many days of fighting, the American soldiers were discouraged. However, that changed when the U.S. soldiers raised the American Flag. This inspired the soldiers to defeat Japan. The flag showed total bravery and inspiration.

In addition to the battle of Iwo Jima, the flag being raised after the destruction of the World Trade Center reminds me of the words “the flag was still there.” For example, on 9’11, not only was the World Trade Center destroyed, but one hijacked plane hit the pentagon, and the last hijacked plane hit the field in Pennsylvania. That plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was heading for the White House and would of have made it if was not for the brave men and women on board that stopped the terrorists from carrying out another horrific event. After all the horrific events of 9’11, the fire fighters raised the
American flag to show that the United States did not die. In conclusion, this was my interpretation of the National Anthem. I am sure that the National Anthem has many more meanings. But one can agree that the National Anthem remains in the heart of all Americans.

Anijah Taylor