By Maggie Cornejo
Veteran’s Day is a day to remember and honor those that have fought for our country. Each year, PVI sponsors a project to recognize these veterans and thank them for their heroism.
History teacher Ms. Stepanovich, known to most PVI students as “Ms. Step,” organized this outreach four years ago and believes that this project has a great impact on both the students and on the veterans. Students bring in letters that they have written thanking veterans for their service, and these go to the American Legion, which has a large array of veterans from various wars.
Ms. Step said the letters make the veterans “feel appreciated, but it also makes them happy to know that their legacies are living on and their efforts provided the free country we are able to live in and enjoy.”
“Both my grandfathers were immigrants and then served in WWII for the United States,” said MS. Step. “They had great pride in fighting for a country that gave them freedom and opportunity for a better life for their families.”
Additionally, the letters that Paul VI students have written have taught students to remember the sacrifice of veterans as well.
“This is an important lesson to teach my students. We can’t forget those who have sacrificed or are currently sacrificing,” she said.
PVI also prides itself on the many teachers that are veterans: Deacon Richard Caporiccio, Mrs. Ann Cordes, Ms. Stephanie Cramer, Mr. Tom Grodek, Mr. Andrew Mayton, Mr. Lou Pharao, Dr. Patrick Rozmajzl, Mrs. Jan Siegfried, and Mr. Richard Taylor all share the honor.
Mr. Grodek, a theology and science teacher at PVI, makes a point of integrating the values of the military in the classroom.
“I see military service as one way of serving God and His will in our lives, particularly in the way of sacrifice for others, for all of our countrymen and for all who are confronted by evil forces in the world,” said Grodek. “Military service is a very worthy calling and I know so many fellow military folks who see their service as part of God’s intended vocations for their lives.”
Grodek recognized Veteran’s Day Wednesday by wearing his uniform and speaking about his experience in a special “Veteran’s Day presentation” to all his classes.