May 21, 2009

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Jack Pearce remembered at school that ‘adopted’ him

WESTFALL TOWNSHIP – Delaware Valley Elementary students have a better understanding of ‘duty, honor and country’, as we approach Memorial Day.  In 1988, the school ‘adopted’ Sgt. Edwin “Jack” Pearce, who went to fight in Vietnam. 

Pearce did not return.  His plane was shot down over Laos in 1972. 

For more than three decades, Pearce was “MIA”.  Last year, a few remains were turned over to the Pearce family, after DNA confirmation that Jack had been found.

Kim and Rosemary Pearce

Former Principal Sonya Cole said through Jack Pearce, students understand
what it means to serve. Painting was done by Kim Pearce.

Wednesday, in an auditorium packed with students and veterans, and members of the Pearce family, including Jack’s mother Rosemary, brother Kim, and nephew Zach, Pearce was remembered and honored.

The program at DVE consisted of remarks about Pearce by his nephew Zach and brother Kim. Former DVE principal Sonya Cole gave a brief history of the 1988 adoption of Pearce as did DVE staff member Sharon Siegel who helped with the process. Senator Lisa Baker and Congressman Chris Carney were also present to speak about Pearce and his family. DV Superintendent Dr. Candis Finan recalled when Mrs. Cole and Sharon Siegel originally presented the idea of the MIA adoption.   

Motorcycles escort Pearce family onto the DV campus

The audience consisted of motorcycle groups representing the Soldiers Angels, Friends of the Forgotten POW and MIA, and the Freedom Riders. The Patriot Guard Riders Motorcycle Group had served as the escort to Mrs. Pearce from Milford. Members of Milford’s and Matamoras’ veterans groups were on hand. Many had tears in their eyes as speeches were given. DVE students all carried small flags to wave during the singing of a selection of patriot songs. McGuire AFB Honor Guard carried the colors and PA State Trooper Paul Cavallaro played taps at the end of the program. .

Before entering the Air Force, Jack Pearce graduated from DV in the same auditorium Wednesday’s ceremony was held.

Now, Jack, and his father, Edwin, who died two years ago, share a grave in Milford.


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