NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Getting to know our U.S. veterans, that’s the goal of a special program at Niskayuna High School.
These men and women represent a slice of American and world history serving in a total of five wars, dating back to World War II.
Among the group, Harold Williams, who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day and Betty Clarke, a first lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps, who cared for Bob Dole when he was wounded in Italy.
“So I think the connection is and I hear it from the vets a lot that the kids don’t know about it and I say, it’s not the kids’ fault, it’s our fault. We gotta do something about it, we the public gotta recognize, to take advantage of this, to have the veterans come and talk to you,” Frank Desorbo, President of Patriot Flight Incorporated, said.
A student who won a Patriot Flight “Freedom and What it Means to Me” essay contest, won him a trip to Washington D.C. along with veterans.
“I wrote a nice little essay explaining my overwhelming pride for my country. I appreciate all the suffering the veterans went through, their sacrifices and just all that they do for me, they give up their lives so that I can have my own freedom,” John Drazba, student who won the essay contest, said.
Patriot Flight and the social studies department organized the assembly. It helped make a direct connection with what students learn in government and history courses.
This was the first veteran assembly at the school and the group says they’re looking forward to more.