Philadelphia Protestant Home treats veterans to lunch

Students from St. Cecilia’s decorated the home in red, white and blue while serving those who served in the military.

Service with a smile: Students from St. Cecilia’s served lunch and dessert for those who served in the military during an event last week at the Philadelphia Protestant Home. TOM WARING / TIMES PHOTO

The Philadelphia Protestant Home observed Veterans Day last Friday, treating dozens of residents who served in the military to lunch and dessert.

The tables were decorated in patriotic colors, and the waiters and waitresses were students from St. Cecilia Elementary School in Fox Chase. The kids came to PPH, 6401 Martins Mill Road in Lawndale, on their day off.

Former Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force Reserve, served as guest speaker.

Everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and Alice Durham a Navy veterans who lives at PPH, led the crowd in singing the national anthem.

Phil Grutzmacher, a 98-year-old resident, read the war poem In Flanders Fields by memory.

Students Maura Kelly, Kylie Price and Annie Klepesky read essays on the topic, “America’s Gift to My Generation.”

Students Joe Barrett and Molly Lyons explained the meaning of a special Prisoner of War/Missing in Action table, set for one, with an empty chair.

The students presented the veterans with a gift and hand-made cards of appreciation.

Bill Conaway, director of community relations at PPH, recognized Kathy Woodman, a Veterans of Foreign Wars service officer who comes to the retirement community once a month to handle inquiries. He also thanked teachers Kelly Roney, Robert Henry and Kathy McDonough for arranging for student participation. ••