At school this week children made a giant thank you note and American flag for our local veterans. Saying thank you is important, but this goes deeper. Veterans and Veterans Day help me to teach children about core values; honesty, integrity, and service over self.
What is a veteran? What did they do? That was our start. Next, we learned about the American flag, especially counting the stripes and stars. I wonder how many children know that our American flag actually has a nickname.
Then we got to work.
Children decided what they wanted to say on the thank you note. I wrote their exact words, and they used markers to decorate the big note.
Cutting red strips of paper for the American flag was hard work. Really hard work! Children were proud of all they accomplished.
I had the privilege of delivering both of these to our local American Legion post, as they were preparing for their Veterans Day ceremony. With Covid, the event was low key, so our delivery was a bright light. As I read aloud the thank you note, I heard their sounds and words that told me this was a ‘big deal’.
They asked to take photos. I asked, too. And suddenly I heard, “Jennie! Jennie!” Eddie, a child in my class, saw me and rushed over. There was the flurry of hugging Eddie (with masks) and questions “He is in your class?” I stopped to show the American Legion officers the parts of the thank you note that Eddie had decorated. The silence was grown men who were pretty choked up.
They wanted a photo of Eddie, too. He is joined by his sister and a friend.
A thank you is sometimes the best gift of all.