- Grand Island Central School District
U.S. Veterans Honored at Indoor Parade at GIHS, VCMS
In the Corrao family, there is so much pride for the service 88-year-old John Corrao III gave his country as an Air Force staff sergeant. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren have heard his stories from his time of service in Korea, Japan and Niagara Falls.
On Friday, Nov. 9, his grandson, Jacob Corrao, and his great-grandchildren, Nick Karnath and Gianna Karnath, showed how much he means to them by marching with him in the annual indoor Veteran's Day parade at Grand Island High School and Veronica E. Connor Middle School
"Whenever I go to my Poppa's house, he always tells his stories. It's one of my favorite things to do, especially on Veterans day. We go there and eat lunch with him," said Jacob, a senior at GIHS.
"He served our world and it's important to tell people about it," said Gianna, a seventh-grader at VCMS. "He's one of the reasons that America is still safe and free."
Corrao served in the Korean War as a staff sergeant, determining what supplies the planes should bring over to Korea from Japan. He flew with the pilots to Seoul. "K16 they called it. Spent a year and a half in Japan and Korea. Came back to the Niagara Falls Air Base with the 47th interceptor squadron, looking for planes that were not supposed to be in the area," he said.
He had an opportunity to earn his third stripe as a tech sergeant and be transferred to Hawaii. "That was tempting but by that time I had met a young lady that I thought I might be marrying, so I turned it down," said John, who has been married for 62 years.
"We're here today. Me and my family, all my other cousins, my mom, would not be here without him. That turn down on Hawaii was probably the right decision," said great-grandson Nick Karnath, a freshman at GIHS.
Corrao was one of 30 U.S. Veterans from the Grand Island community who were honored at the second annual indoor parade. Middle and High School students and staff lined the hallways, holding mini-U.S. flags, cheering, clapping and saying thank you, as veterans from the Grand Island American Legion Post 1346 and Charles N. DeGlopper VFW Post 9249 filed by.
"We are very proud of our U.S. Veterans and the service they gave to our country. We wanted to honor them in a very personal way by inviting them to our buildings," said Dr. Brian Graham, superintendent of Grand Island Central School District.
The parade route ended in the high school cafeteria with a breakfast prepared by district food service staff and patriotic songs performed by the high school chorus ensemble.