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Teachers Pay Tribute to Veterans in North Haven

North Haven Education Association members marched in the North Haven Memorial Day parade alongside their "Proud to Teach" float.

North Haven Education Association members marched in the North Haven Memorial Day parade alongside their “Proud to Teach” float.

The Memorial Day parades are over, but the goodwill created by teachers who marched in the North Haven Memorial Day parade with 50 other civic and community groups lives on.

North Haven teachers from the elementary, middle and high schools marched in the annual parade on May 25 to honor all members of the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in service to our country.

This was the second year that members of the North Haven Education Association (NHEA) marched in the parade and this year they added something special—a new float, with the theme “Proud to Teach.”  The float was designed, assembled, and towed by NHEA member volunteers. The purchase of materials was made possible through a CEA grant written by NHEA Public Relations Chair Krista Kaplan. The grant also allowed the NHEA to sponsor a tailgate breakfast before the event. Each participating member also received a special T-Shirt that celebrated teachers and their commitment to their students.

The parade holds special significance to NHEA members because their former colleague and veteran, Charlie Morrissey, has been the parade’s co-chair for many years.

NHEA member and float volunteer Don Johnson grew up in North Haven and Charlie Morrissey was his fifth grade teacher. As a teacher, he said he is proud to march in the North Haven Memorial Day parade, one of the largest in Southern Connecticut.

“I was able to share the civic pride and responsibility that was instilled in me by my former North Haven teachers with my own son, this community, and especially with our local veterans and service members. It is an experience I will always treasure,” said Johnson.

Several teachers were joined by their own children and families in the parade, further adding to the strong sense of community among the participants.

“All along the parade route, teachers were recognized enthusiastically by generations of families whose lives they have touched, including many former students who now brought children of their own to enjoy the parade,” said Johnson.

The NHEA intends to make this a longstanding tradition within their Association, and has already set a goal to double their member participation for next year.

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North Haven Education Association members and their families posed for a picture after marching in the Memorial Day parade.

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