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BCHS pays tribute to local veterans

Filed in Archive, BCHS, District, District News by on November 8, 2019

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On Friday, Nov. 8, Bethlehem Central High School’s Student Senate welcomed 20 local veterans and active military personnel to a special ceremony at the school where the students paid tribute to their service and sacrifice.

Principal David Doemel, Jr. provided introductory remarks and read the message he sends to students in honor of Veterans Day that recalls his grandparents’ military service in World War II and their continuing service to the community throughout their lives.

Students Ben LaVigne and Nick Zigrosser offered remarks on behalf of the Student Senate. The Student Senate also presented each of the veterans with a commemorative BC Eagle pin.

“Do you think I have room for any more pins?” asked Joe Mansfield, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran whose leather vest was adorned with patches and pins representing his military service.

“All of these have special meaning to me,” said Mansfield, a neighbor of the high school and resident of the district for the last 10 years.

Looking down at his new BC pin, he added: “And this one does now, too.”

A full list of veterans honored at the high school on Friday, November 8, 2019:

  • Scott Anson – Army*
  • Joe Bruno – Army
  • Charles Chandler – Air Force
  • Gerry Decker – Navy*
  • Marc Dorsey – Army, Air Force*
  • Charles Fagerquist – Army
  • Venessa Ingraham – Army, Air Force**
  • William Kolberg – Air Force
  • Sean Lenahan  – Marine Corps*
  • James F Leslie – Navy*
  • Joseph Mansfield – Marine Corps
  • Jeremy Martelle, Sr. – Air Force
  • Michael McCarthy – Army
  • Tim Mulligan – Navy
  • Henry Neuberger – Marine Corps
  • Larry Pittman – Army
  • John A Richards – Air Force
  • Steve Riedel – Navy*
  • Robert Van Denburgh Jr. – Air Force
  • Dr. David Zornow – Navy

* – BC graduate; ** – Current BC staff member

Several of the veterans honored Friday by the Student Senate are BC graduates, some are parents, and one, Venessa Ingraham, is a valued member of the high school’s Counseling Center staff.

A string quartet welcomed the veterans and their guests to the morning ceremony.  Student vocalist Emily Begley sang The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America, and trumpeter Daria Hegeman played Taps. The string quartet — Michelle Dai, Jason Wu, Avi Patel and Avery Roach — also provided music while refreshments were served.

Following the formal ceremony, guest speaker Henry Neuberger addressed students and some of his fellow veterans recounting his time spent as a radio operator during the Vietnam War.

Neuberger, the uncle of BCHS social studies teacher Anthony Wilson, brought photos and artifacts from his two tours of duty in Vietnam. As students passed items around, they listened carefully as Neuberger shared vivid recollections of his military service from his time spent at boot camp, to serving as a gopher for his supervising officer, to his duties as a field artillery liaison, a position that required his attention nearly 24/7, Neuberger said.

An artillery liaison, he told the students, is responsible for communicating when and where artillery troops could take aim at their targets.

“I would have to take my radio everywhere I went,” Neuberger said. “I still remember being in the shower and getting a call that required my attention. I had to sit right down in the dirt naked and take out my maps right there. There was no waiting.”

Neuberger showed the students some of the C-Rations — canned combat food rations that were used by troops when fresh food wasn’t available — he had to rely on while serving as an artillery liaison.

“This was the late-60s and I was born in 1949,” said Neuberger. “Some of food I was eating had been packaged in 1949, the same year I was born.”

Thank you to Mr. Neuberger and all of our veterans who shared a very special morning with students and staff. BC appreciates your service!