Honoring Our Heroes


Photo by Brock Regnier

Fourth grader, Hadley Hermany, holds a photo that her great-grandfather took during World War II. He was stationed in Germany during World War II. Hermany said, “I hope to be like my great-grandfather when I am older and make the world a better place.”

John S. Clarke elementary school faculty and students constructed a Hero Wall to recognize those that have served in the U.S. Armed Forces as part of their Veteran’s Day observance. Participating students were given a paper guide and were told to research information about a friend or family member who served in the military. Once completed, their chosen military hero along with their research was hung in the hallway to share with the school. 

To be a soldier, bravery is a necessity. Hadley Hermany, fourth grader at John S. Clarke, shared her story about her deceased great-grandfather who fought during World War II.

“My great-grandpa died before I was born, so I didn’t know him very well, but I do know that he was a very brave person. He swam 440 yards in the Panama Canal. He was stationed in Germany and fought during the wars going on in the Black Forest during WWII,” Hermany said. “I want to grow up to be just like him because I want to make the world a better place.” 

Flying through the skies, being ready to attack the enemy, and doing whatever it takes to protect the country while suspended in the clouds, Airman Nathan Cromyak is ready for his mission. 

First grader Katherine Cromyak said, “My brother, Nathan, is in the Air Force. He left last year and returned this year from fighting.” She also stated, “I love flying in airplanes, so I would really enjoy doing what my brother does when I’m older. I’m very happy my brother is home because I love playing with him outside.”

Gunshots. The sounds of the opposing forces intensifies with every step. They reach their destination. The United States is under attack. The US Army takes charge and defends their turf. Mr. Wright is put as leader of the mission. He won’t back down. 

Second grader, Alaina Wright’s father is a soldier in the US Army. She said, “I hate when my dad is gone because I don’t like him not being here, but he returned last year so it makes me happy. I love my daddy. He does a lot for me and when he comes back from the military we watch tv shows together.” 

Students ended their Veteran’s assignment by writing “Thank you” letters to members of the 201st Red Horse Squadron who were with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard during Operation Freedom. The students were also visited by Airman Cromyak and Josephine Kwiatkowski (aide at JSC and military veteran).