This morning, the Lower School held a Veterans Day assembly and invited veterans who are family or friends of current 4th Graders. Carl Napier, a member of Collegiate’s custodial staff and a veteran of the U.S. Army, read an excerpt describing “America’s White Table” ceremony, which honors men and women who served in the Armed Forces.
Commander Paul Galanti, retired U.S. Navy pilot, was the event’s special guest. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he flew 97 combat missions during the Vietnam War. In 1966, he was shot down and held as a prisoner of war for seven years until he was released in 1973, through the tireless work of his wife, Phyllis.
Commander Galanti, father of Collegiate alums Jeff Galanti ‘97 and Jamie Galanti ‘94 and grandfather of Thomas ‘28, Margaret ‘29 and Ted ‘33, spoke of how great his career had been and the friends he made along the way.
“The closest friends I have are from the military,” he said. “It’s a bond that exceeds everything else.”
Commander Galanti saluted the other veterans in attendance and thanked Collegiate for inviting him to speak.
“My hat’s off to all the veterans here,” he said. “Thank you for this ceremony. Every time I come out to Collegiate I feel better about our country.”
At the close of the assembly, veterans were then asked to stand as each military branch's song was played.
At last week’s Upper School assembly, Collegiate’s Director of Campus Safety and Security James Bandy spoke to students about his service in the U.S. Marines and the importance of Veterans Day.
“The significance of Veterans Day is to simply to thank those who have served or are currently serving and to understand the freedoms we enjoy as a result of their service,” he said.
Tomorrow, Middle Schoolers will hear from Tammy Dunn, Collegiate parent and the School’s Facilities Manager, who served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years.
We thank all Veterans for their service!