Honoring WWII veterans

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Just before the Memorial Day weekend, Babylon School District came together to honor the lives of Babylon High School alumni lost during WWII during a special plaque unveiling ceremony in the lobby at Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s Rowe Hall on May 25. The event came to fruition based on the efforts of the school district and in partnership with the Babylon-based American Legion Post 94.

After introductions and expressions of gratitude from both Babylon Junior-Senior High School Principal Al Cirone and Babylon School District Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi, Babylon Junior-Senior High School senior class president Joseph Rende and American Legion Squadron 94 Vice Commander Jon Taylor spoke in honor of those who served. 

“I challenge you to shake a veteran’s hand when you see one, and thank them for allowing you to have this freedom,” said Joseph. “Thank them for the sacrifices they have made, and for the ultimate sacrifices their comrades have made.”

“It is imperative that we do not allow the knowledge of our history of this nation to fade away, both the good and the bad,” said Mr. Taylor. “If we are to understand why we are, and who we are, only then can we chart our nation’s course for the future.”

Along with the members of Post 94, Babylon High School Class of 1945 alumnus Gabe Grenci was in attendance. Mr. Grenci served in the U.S. Army where he was discharged at the rank of staff sergeant, served at the Allied Forces headquarters in Caserta, Italy, and was both a friend and classmate of Rocco Grasso, whose name will forever remain on the plaque.

The district would also like to recognize those alumni who served in the country’s armed forces – Tony Ciervo, John Dawley, Jerry Grant, Rich Villanueva and Jim Woods – along with the current Babylon Junior-Senior High School seniors committed to entering various branches of the military – Anthony Gerola, Szymon Giembic, Emma Iandoli, Ian Mikulicic, Nicholas Ruf and Sophia Sherman.