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From right, Maddie Declercq, Katie Clements, and Sarah Head listen to Archie Hovsepian talk about his experiences as a Marine in the Pacific during World War II. (click for larger version)
February 08, 2012 - Clarkston Junior High students spent a day learning about World War II, Feb. 1, talking to veterans who fought and civilians who just survived.

"The kids asked many questions – they wanted to know who I was afraid of more, the Americans or Germans," said Maria Rotondo-Mark, who was a child in war-torn Italy. "I was afraid of the whole entire thing. I just wanted to stay alive."

Joseph Cromwell fought with the U.S. Army at Normandy and in the Battle of the Bulge.

"Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman said 'war is hell,' and it is, believe me," Cromwell said.

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History teachers Thomas McGlinnen and Laura Murray led the junior high USO Celebration, an annual event.

"The USO Celebration has been a way for us to honor our World War II veterans as well as provide our ninth grade students with the privilege and opportunity to hear real-life stories from veterans," McGlinnen said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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