Long Beach fifth-grade students representing East, Lido, Lindell and West Elementary Schools all gathered in the Long Beach Alumni Memorial Auditorium at Lindell Elementary on Nov. 10 for a Veterans Day ceremony.
The day centered on remembering 16 World War II veterans who attended Long Beach High School and served their country proudly. In addition to remembering the young men who attended LBHS more than three-quarters of a century ago, there was a rededication of the school’s auditorium that included the placement of a photo display cabinet near the front entrance of the auditorium lobby.
The 16 servicemen who attended Long Beach High School and were remembered:
Richard Arrighi, LBHS Class of 1934
Clement Casella, LBHS Class of 1932
Raymond (Buddy) Cohen, LBHS Class of 1936
Ray Dahlbender, LBHS Class of 1941
John DeBlasio, LBHS Class of 1943
Francis Gill, LBHS Class of 1936
Frank Gillespie, LBHS An Early Class of 1940’s
Howard Goodman, LBHS Class of 1934
Bernard “Bill” Haag, LBHS An Early Class of 1930’s
Benjamin Harris, LBHS Class of 1937
Eugene Klekman, LBHS Class of 1936
Richard Larson, LBHS Class of 1941
Harold Osterweil, LBHS Class of 1937
Alvin Perlberg, LBHS Class of 1940
Myron Robbins, LBHS Class of 1938
William Stein, LBHS Class of 1943
Assistant Superintendent, Finance and Operations, Michael DeVito started the events of the day by giving a warm welcome to the fifth-grade student body, board members, former board members, school administration and community members. Special guests included family members of two veterans being remembered, Clement Casella and Bernard Haag.
The touching tribute started with the Presentation of the Colors carried in by members of the Long Beach VFW Post 1384, as well as the national anthem sung by Long Beach High School student Jacob LoCascio. Former board member and Long Beach alum Patrick Gallagher shared a historical overview of Veterans Day. The most moving portion of the ceremony was the reading of the 16 names by 16 current students followed by family member remembrances. Closing the program, the district’s fifth graders sang “America the Beautiful.”
Bernie Haag, son of Bernard Haag, shared, “On April 1, 1945, my father died and I was born six weeks later.” Bernie Haag never had the opportunity to meet his father but said, “Through the help of coaches, my uncles, my mother and grandmother who raised me, I had a very successful life and married the love of my life and have been married for 57 years.”
A few of the 16 men recognized were related to each other, Alvin Perlberg and Buddy Cohen were cousins. Bernard Haag and Francis Gill were brothers-in-law. Some of the men were athletes in high school, Richard Arrighi was a star member of the track team and Ray Dahlbender played on the varsity baseball team. Howard Goodman was voted most ambitious by his class and Eugen Klekman was voted most witty in his class. Harold Osterweil was salutatorian of his class in 1937 and Myron Robbins was senior class president when he graduated in 1938. Frank Gillespie was a member of the Long Beach Boy Scouts.
All guests left with a commemorative journal which included individual photos and an overview of the contributions the 16 men made while high school students and serving their country.
Today, the Alumni Memorial Auditorium is part of Lindell Elementary but originally the school was home to Long Beach High School. At one time, the photos were on display in the auditorium but over the years were moved to other buildings throughout the district. Recently the photos were discovered, and the decision was made to again display them where they were so many years ago.
Mr. DeVito said, “We are so honored to be able to pay tribute to these Long Beach High School students who served and gave their lives during World War II especially on this Veterans Day. It’s so fitting to have their photos on display at their former high school.”
Click here to view the photo slideshow.
Date Added: 11/18/2022