The school community at P.S. 204 held its 10th Annual Veterans Appreciation Day on Friday, May 30 to salute and thank those who served and fought for our country.The fifth grade honor guard marched down the aisle and onto the stage as the proud former military members saluted through the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner.Wearing sailor hats with a U.S. flag design, P.S. 204s pre-kindergarteners greeted the veterans by singing Youre A Grand Old Flag.Students took turns singing songs such as This is a Great Country, America, This Land is Your Land, I Love America and a Salute to Our Armed Forces Medley, which honors each branch of the armed forces with its own service song.Wrapping up the show was a presentation to Gold Star Families, families who had lost loved ones to war. Diane Levato-Reese and Emily Toro were given gold stars in memory of Levato-Reeses brother Frankie Levato and Toros son, Isaac Cortes.I feel strongly that our students and staff benefit greatly from this show, year after year, said Nancy Tomasuolo, principal of P.S. 204.The finale allowed several veterans to thank and praise the children for their performances and remind them of the great country that they live in.They did a phenomenal job, said Jerry DOnofrio, Sr., a U.S. National Guard veteran who served between 1948 and 1964, enlisting in the National Guard at age 17.I came to America from Italy on January 9, 1948 to an inch of snow on the ground. As I walked, the snow melted and cleared my path. Two days later, on Wednesday, I signed up. It only took me three years to become a private first class, he recalls. Now with five sons and three daughters, 21 grandchildren and two great grandchildren, DOnofrio gives simple advice: Love your country, and be proud of your country.
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