By Lisa Capobianco
With the Southington Board of Education voting unanimously to adopt an official mission statement for the Veterans Committee, the school district has reaffirmed to “never forget” the sacrifices of military service members from the past and present.
“I see tonight as the exemplar for this entire country at every local level to pay attention to, to take notice of,” said Southington School Supt. Dr. Erardi, who formed the Veterans Committee several years ago. “I would like to send a copy of this to every federal delegate that we have in Connecticut, encouraging them to share this in Washington.”
During a recent Board of Education meeting, local veterans of the committee were honored and recognized as Southington High School Assistant Principal Richard Terino read the mission statement aloud. A member of the Veterans Committee, Terino said six members collaborated together on the mission statement before creating a final draft.
For Terino and other members of the Veterans Committee, the mission statement serves as a reflection of the partnership between local veterans and the school district, as it reminds students, faculty members and administrators to never forget the sacrifice that service members made to their country.
“We have to build that awareness, especially in the minds of our students,” said Terino, adding that anywhere from five to ten local veterans visit the schools during military holidays. “Freedom isn’t free—there is always a price to pay.”
“It makes the future have brighter promise because the knowledge you learned isn’t in the textbooks, it’s not in movies, it is not on TV…it’s through your life,” added Board of Education Chairman Brian Goralski, thanking the local veterans during the meeting for their service.
When Steve Pintarich, a local veteran who serves on the committee, read the final draft of the mission statement, he said nothing could be eliminated or added from the message.
“Nobody is going to forget,” Pintarich said. “It defines what the vets have done.”