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SCVTHS students at the Proud To Be An American Day

(l-r) SCVTHS students Nathaniel Conti of Gladstone, Zach Cohen of Green Brook, Oscar Cortes of North Plainfield, Aleksander Starzynski of Manville, Sydney Sibilia of Raritan, Natalie Alaimo of Bridgewater, Nick Heuner of Bound Brook, and Armando Garcia of Bridgewater pose or a photo during Proud To Be An American Day 2022


On May 26, 2022, and for the sixth year, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School Social Studies Instructor and United States Army Veteran Ed Graf put together the event titled, “Proud to be an American Day.” Mr. Graf’s purpose for the yearly event is to teach students the importance of honoring our veterans and the reasons we celebrate Memorial Day. During the day’s events, Mr. Graf coordinated a full school assembly, which included:

  • Honoring the memories of fallen veterans, promoting patriotism, as well as creating unity as a school community and nation
  • Special tributes were paid to fallen heroes USMC Captain Jesse Melton III, who was KIA in Afghanistan and New Jersey National Guard Soldier, PFC Anthony Stietz, who died in a car accident
  • Keynote speaker USMC Lieutenant General John Toolan
  • Demonstrations by the United States Military, including armored vehicles and helicopters
  • Wreath presentations
  • Bagpipe and bugle performances
  • 21-gun salute performed by American Legion Post 35 of Union, New Jersey
  • Civil War Cannon Volleys
  • Union High School JROTC Honor Guard held a “Posting the Colors”
  • Members of the USO Show Troupe performed patriotic musical selections

Following the events, a luncheon was held for all of the attending veterans, honorees, and their families.


For more information contact James Strickhart at (908) 526-8900, x7169 or