Nashua Catholic hosts Veterans Day ceremony

NASHUA – There wasn’t a dry eye in the gymnasium at Nashua Catholic Regional Junior High School’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony, held on Wednesday, Nov. 9, as Gold Star Mother, Denise Gionet of Pelham, took the podium to talk to students, staff and family members.

After being introduced by history teacher Mr. Scott Abercrombie, Ms. Gionet began her address to the audience, by asking the students who had family members who were currently serving or had served our country in the armed forces to stand up. Surprised and pleased by the large number of students who stood, she explained that they were Blue Star members. Ms. Gionet went on to add that one becomes a Gold Star Mother when a son or daughter has died during action. It is an honor, she said, she regretfully has earned.

Ms. Gionet’s 23-year-old son, Daniel, was a medic in the Army’s 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, serving in Iraq, when an IED (improvised explosive device) detonated near his tank. Despite being mortally wounded, he tended to other injured soldiers until he could no longer speak.

Ms. Gionet told her audience that she wanted to share the message of hope, loyalty, sacrifice and integrity that her son embodied during his lifetime, and she asked the students not to take our freedom for granted and to remember those who sacrificed to ensure that they could live in this great and free country.

During the ceremony, several Nashua Catholic teachers were honored for their service: Command Sgt. Maj. Paul J. Levesque, who served five tours in the Army, including Iraq; Marine, 1st Lt. Scott Abercrombie, who served our country during the Vietnam era; and Julie Wiswell, who served in the Air Force at the Defense Language Institute. Also recognized was Cheryl Harper, a substitute teacher at Nashua Catholic and retired U.S. Airforce sergeant.

Other veterans were honored both during the ceremony and on the Wall of Honor in Nashua Catholic’s foyer.

Submitted by
Nashua Catholic Regional Jr. High School