Veterans are honored with Armed Forces Salute ceremony

Veterans are honored with Armed Forces Salute ceremony

The Adamsville Primary School—and on behalf of the entire Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District–paid a proud salute to our military veterans with a respectful and grateful ceremony.

The event was the school’s Armed Forces Salute that was recreated this year after a hiatus due to Covid.

The ceremony was held before an admiring audience that included teachers, staff,  students, families, school district officials and of course—-11 distinguished guests who have and are presently serving our country proud.

 This ceremony was held on the morning of Thursday, May 25, just days after Armed Forces Day was observed across the nation on Saturday, May 20, while Adamsville’s classy gathering is only four days before Memorial Day is celebrated.

The spearhead behind this magnificent event is Cindy Nurse, an Intervention Specialist at Adamsville who is also the Chair of the Armed Forces Salute program at the school.

“We started this in 2015-2016 because a neighboring school district held it and my uncle who was a veteran came and spoke,” Mrs. Nurse explained.

So the energetic and passionate Adamsville staffer contacted the New Jersey Education Association and submitted a grant in order to hold this worthy ceremony.

Her approval of the grant was instrumental in Mrs. Nurse and her dedicated staff being able to craft this prestigious event.

She shared the details on how to attract the servicemen and servicewomen.

“We send out invitations to all of our students (and post an invite link on our Eblast) for them to invite in family members or close friends who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. 

A total of 11 who served and presently serve accepted the gracious invite.

One special guest was Carnicia Collins, who is presently serving in the United States Coast Guard stationed in Staten Island. She joined her sons, Samuel and Nathaniel, who are both Kindergarten students at Adamsville.

“My sons were super excited that I came,” Ms. Collins said. “  I am very proud and honored and this is such a great thing that they recognized the veterans.”

The morning was launched with a welcome speech from both Mrs. Nurse and Dr. James Singagliese, the Principal of Adamsville.

“It is lovely that we honor both active and former members of the armed forces in front of our students so that they can understand the sacrifices for their freedoms such as being able to go to school,” Dr. Singagliese stated.

A fully stocked breakfast table was enjoyed by the attendees and the meal was followed by  a performance by two 3rd Grade classes who sang patriotic and thankful songs regarding the military and a solo act on the flute by a student.

Joe Nigro finished his breakfast and then shared his background, both in the service and in civilian life.

“I served in Viet Nam with the Army,” Mr. Nigro said  “and then I became a New York City cop.”

He also revealed that he served as a professional baseball scout for 37 years.

 “I worked for (Detroit) Tigers, the Mets, Seattle (Mariners) and Tampa Bay (Rays),” Mr. Nigro reported. 

He sat next to his two grandchildren, Aniello, who is in 2nd Grade, and Aniston, who is in Kindergarten. 

“I am happy and I am proud that he is here,” Aniello claimed.

 The two students whose posters were selected as the winners to share during the ceremony were cited as was Sania Khan, whose essay was declared the winner in that contest..

Chris Tyler, who is a Physical Education Teacher at Adamsville, then spoke to the crowd about the worthy program that he is associated with outside of school—Warrior Strong. The organization’s mission is to help veterans, veteran family members and first responders through health and wellness.

 Richard Gardner, who served in Viet Nam with the Army and was at the affair with his grandson, Ryan Gardner, a 3rd Grade student, said it is important that “we all take the oath to our constitution and then pass it onto our children and grandchildren.”

Tom Butler was thrilled to return to the Armed Forces Salute at Adamsville.

“I have done this before and I am so happy to be back,” said Mr. Butler, who once served as the interim Superintendent of the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District in 2001.

 A veteran of the Army, who was stationed in Germany from 1956 to 1958, Mr. Butler was joined this morning with his wife, Donna Butler, who is a substitute teacher at Adamsville.

Each of the 11 honored guests wee then presented with a certificate that included a note of “thank you from Adamsville Primary School” according to Mrs. Nurse 

They also each received a gift, which was a mug that displayed the emblem of their military branch.

From there, they visited classrooms and read books selected by Adamsville’s Armed Forces Salute Committee while they also answered questions and performed activities with the students.

The appreciative audience at Adamsville also featured Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Superintendent Bob Beers, Karen Jones, the school district’s Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Annemarie Mattia, the school district’s Director of Elementary Education, Steven Singer, the President of the Bridgewater-Raritan Board of Education and Barry Walker, the Vice President of the Bridgewater-Raritan Board of Education.

“I want to thank Cindy (Nurse) and her committee for sponsoring this great day when we can honor our veterans from Bridgeweater.” Superintendent Beers said.

Here are the names of 11 distinguished veterans who were honored and their branch of service. 

Army:  Brian Boyle Sr., Thomas Butler, Richard Gardner Sr., Joseph Nigro

Coast Guard:  Carcinia Collins

Marines:  Carlos Lopez, Bill Munro

Navy:  Thomas Church, Donavon Davis, John, Mayer Jr., John Richter


“When you see the smile on their faces, that is we we begin to plan for next year,” Mrs. Nurse said.