CRANFORD, NJ — On Friday, Nov. 11, Atria Cranford held their annual Veterans Day tribute to honor the 41 residents who served in the Marines, Air Force, Navy and National Guard. One staff member, Lita Rivera, is also an Army veteran. The event began with the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.
Atria Cranford’s bell choir performed and patriotic songs were sung, including anthems of the armed services. Harold Krevsky, a 100-year-old resident and veteran, read a poem called “Veteran” aloud. Each veteran was honored with a boutonniere corsage. Rivera also read a poem and presented veterans with a certificate and flag pin. Goodie bags were also donated by students and distributed at the event.
“The poem I read is titled, ‘To Our Veterans,’ and it thanked them for fighting for our freedom,” Rivera told LocalSource over the phone. “Harold did a great job reading his poem as well. It was a very touching ceremony. We thanked all the home front workers and acknowledged the spouses of veterans too.”
Veterans had a chance to speak to each other about their experiences. Rivera shared her experience of her two active years and six years in the reserve.
“I was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany,” Rivera told LocalSource over the phone. “It was a great experience. Germany is a beautiful country with great food. I got the chance to share my story at the event. I talked about my family members as well, who are also veterans. We all shared where we went and it was really an amazing event.”
Krevsky’s service was reported to President Barack Obama by Atria’s Engage Life Director, Jaye Shear, and he received a note of thanks for his 100th birthday this year from Obama and first lady Michelle. He felt very happy when he received the letter and proud to have served his country.
“All the veterans received red carnations with an American flag to wear at the event,” Shear told LocalSource over the phone. “This made them feel very proud to have served their country. They were also presented with a certificate honoring them for their service.”
Krevsky served in three wars, including World War II and the Battle of the Bulge. He was in the army and stationed in France, where he learned to speak a little French. He also speaks a bit of German and Spanish. He was honored to read the poem at the event and felt the poem he read was very appropriate for the occasion.
“The poem read that veterans have a lot of stories to tell,” Krevsky told LocalSource over the phone. “We sacrificed a lot for our freedom and we’re proud to be American. I fought seriously when I was in the army and attacked the enemy with precision. I’m glad I was able to serve my country. Veterans should be acknowledged for the fact that we were willing to give our lives for our country and our freedom.”