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Veterans get their due through Northern Middle project

November 09, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • Northern Middle School student Jazmin Techie-Mensah sings "God Bless America" during a Veteran's Day Celebration at the school Friday.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — As Northern Middle School’s head custodian Larry Hose sees it, many students at his school get it.

They ask smart questions of the staff who have served in the military. They respectfully raise and lower the United States and Maryland flags each day.

Some have cried upon hearing him tell stories of his experiences in Vietnam. Some have hugged him and thanked him for his contributions to America’s freedoms.

“He’s a very big hero to our school,” said eighth-grader Sarah Amalfitano, the student government president, who interviewed Hose for a school project.

This was the second year Northern Middle students talked to veterans they know and wrote essays about what they learned.

Last year, the project was part of a civility curriculum on respecting and honoring others, said Donna Almany, a social studies teacher and student government adviser. This year, the veteran project was tied in with literacy.

On Friday, about 30 veterans attended a celebration at the school. Student government members gave presentations. The show choir sang. Then, everyone had dinner.

Local businesses volunteered and donate gift certificates to the event, Almany said.

Principal Mike Chilcutt said the project, organized by Almany and Administrative Assistant Jody Jones, puts students “in the room, across the table, from a real, living hero.”

“It’s letting them see something bigger than themselves,” he said.

Harry “Buck” Cline, 89, attended with his proud son, Washington County Commissioner Jeffrey A. Cline.

Harry Cline was with the U.S. Army’s 475th Infantry in World War II, in the China-Burma-India Theater.

Veterans from other eras, such as Desert Storm, also were saluted.

“It’s a lesson to show that there’s brave people out there,” Sarah said, “and sometimes, they don’t get honored when they risked their lives for our country.”

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