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Chester County Press

Kennett VFW marks Veterans Day with a breakfast for those who served

11/15/2022 02:12PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Kennett area veterans each received a ceremonial thank you and an informal hug as the local Veterans of Foreign War post honored their service to the nation on Friday.

About 70 former and present U.S. military service members -- two of them World War II veterans -- gathered for a buffet breakfast at the VFW hall on the west end of the borough. The Veterans Day meal and program were brought to them courtesy of newly re-elected state Rep. Christina Sappey, D-158, of West Bradford.

The keynote speaker was Brigadier General George M. Schwartz. He has over 30 years of service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army active and reserve components. 

Currently he is an assistant professor of leadership and the director of the bachelor’s degree in emergency planning and management program at Immaculata University. 

He told his audience that those who have served and gone to war for the United States are the keystone of this country’s strength.

“They liberated half the world,” he said.

Post Commander Joseph Zenisek likewise praised veterans. He said, “The quality of life in this country is the result of those who served. Every citizen receives the benefit of their work. … we must celebrate their courage and commitment.”

Sappey presented signed citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to each of the veterans present. In doing so, she also announced their names and gave each one of the veterans a hug.

She noted as well that the two of the recipients at the ceremony had fought in World War II. They are Joe Laird and Salvadore Lucibello.

Laird flew B-17 bombers in the U.S. Air Force. He flew 35 combat mission into Germany as a navigator our of a base in Italy. He went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force reserves and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.  He retired in 1968, according to the resume provided at the breakfast.

Lucibello volunteered for service. He served as a private and also served in the military police, according to the resume.

Other participants in the ceremony were the Boy Scouts of Troop 53, who provided the flag ceremony; Rev. Annalie  Korengel from the Unionville Presbyterian Church, who offered the benediction; Rev. David Grainson from St. Michael Church delivered the invocation; and the members of the chorus from Kennett High School, who sang the “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Zelenski said the post building has been undergoing renovations, including a new floor. The members are now raising funds for a new dropped ceiling