Veterans Honored with Photo Collage, Art Tributes


Marisa Christoff

Photos of U.S. veterans with connections to Nonnewaug hang on a bulletin board outside the auditorium to honor their service.

Mitchell Brooks, Reporter

WOODBURY — The art department at Nonnewaug displayed pictures of veterans to commemorate them for Veterans Day, in line with the school’s annual tradition.

The photo wall can be found next to the auditorium. There is also freestanding artwork of veterans in the front lobby. The veterans presented on the wall and in the artwork are relatives of students or staff members at Nonnewaug. 

Assistant principal Taryn Fernandez collected the photos via Google Classroom. Then, under leadership of art teacher Genna Riggi, the Nonnewaug art department and secretary Lisa Gombos created the collage of images. The wall contains dozens of pictures of veterans that will be displayed through the end of November, rather than just on Veterans Day. 

“Veterans are all who have served or are serving in the armed forces for our country,” Fernandez said. “Many veterans made the difficult decision to leave their families and loved ones to go overseas for months at a time to protect people who are perfect strangers to them: whether providing support for an ally country or defending our freedom and well-being by fighting enemy forces. The least we can do is honor them for their service.”

The wall has special meaning to many teachers and students at Nonnewaug, especially senior Mya Julian, whose parents are both veterans.  Her mom served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and her father has been serving for about 20 years. 

“The wall makes me very grateful that people still appreciate veterans to this day,” Julian said. “My dad has been overseas fighting for this country several times, and is doing so now as well. Both my parents are strong, fearless leaders and I look up to them more than anyone else. It makes me feel proud that others look up to them as well.” 

The Nonnewaug art program created this wall to show appreciation for veterans and the families that stand behind them.

“I want people to look at all who served and thank them, even if not directly,” said Julian.