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Charter Oak Academy Honors Veterans

Students at West Hartford's Charter Oak International Academy honored those who have served this country in a ceremony on Nov. 11 that included veterans and elected officials.

On 8:30 a.m., Nov. 11, a student from neighboring Jordan presented to the Phillipon family artwork he created in tribute to Lance Corporal Lawrence Philippon, who died May 8, 2005, from enemy small-arms fire in Iraq. Phillipon attended before graduating from .

The student's art is part of a larger mural that will be presented to the Veterans Home in Rocky Hill in recognition of 11/11/11. The mural was created by students who attend Special Adventures in Learning (SAIL), an after-school program run by at Charter Oak International Academy.

Other Veterans Day actvities at Charter Oak included:

  • The Veterans Day Ceremony commenced with a bagpipe procession followed by a flag-raising ceremony by the 103rd Airlift Honor Guard.
  • Students from grade pre-K through grade 5 recited poetry, music and written pieces thanking veterans for their freedom. Students also presented gifts to veterans in attendance.
  • Veterans and military personnel visited classrooms to talk with the students after the ceremony.
  • Guests in attendance included Americo "Rico" Pace, a World War II Veteran who survived many major battles and was Grand Marshal of the 2011 Veterans Day Parade; Colonel Thomas S. Stefanko, director of the Office of Advocacy and Assistance Ct Department of Veterans Affairs; and state and local elected officials.
  • Donations collected by the students were presented to the 103rd Air National Guard to be sent to soldiers who are deployed in Afghanistan.

This information was provided by Janet Fournier. Thank you to Denise Hall for providing the photographs.

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