Students Host Memorial Day Ceremony in the Poconos

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POCONO TOWNSHIP -- A ceremony Friday to honor soldiers at the American Legion War Memorial near Tannersville involved dozens of students.

For the eighth graders, it was a day out of the classroom, but it wasn't a typical field trip.

More than two dozen students from Pocono Mountain East came to Veterans Memorial Park near Tannersville to honor our nation's fallen service members.

"We are here because we want to honor the people who have lost their lives, especially fighting for our country and if this is what we can do to give back, then obviously we are going to do as much as we can," said eighth-grader Mayla Olgosso.

The Memorial Day ceremony included music, speeches, a wreath presentation, and a gun salute.

American Legion Commander Tom Bowditch says this is a great way to commemorate all the sacrifices of military men and women.

"People think Memorial Day is the beginning of summer, to have your picnics and barbeques, but it's also a day to remember all those who died for us."

Barry Chighizola teaches history at Pocono Mountain East. He read the names on the Vietnam memorial plaque. Several of them were people he once called friends.

"Well, I knew most of those boys. I went to school with them. I don't want to put a sign up there and just walk away from it. I think we should mention their names and the fact that they are from this area -- Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg, Bushkill, and the county itself," Chighizola said.

Mayla Olgosso is an eighth-grade student. She says it's an honor to be a part of such an important observance.

"It doesn't get enough credit that these people died for their last moments fighting for our country, so it's so important to just pay back what we can give to them."