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Veterans Day activities held at Myers Elementary

The students of Myers Elementary in Bellwood participated in a week long string of activities this past week in honor of Veterans Day. The kindergarten through fourth grade students finished their activities today with a field trip to the Veterans Home in Altoona, where they delivered cards to 500 veterans thanking them for their efforts in the Armed Forces.
The students who traveled to the Veterans Home were winners and honorable mention selections who entered a voluntary and independent student poster and essay contest. There were over 20 students, with a winner selected from each class from kindergarten through fourth grade.
The vets at the Veterans Home will have their eyes flooded with red, white, and blue because Tuesday at Myers Elementary was a special day where students were asked to wear red, white, and blue clothing in celebration of Veterans Day.
The theme of the contest was ‘Why Veterans are Special,’ and the projects were judged by the Veterans Day Committee and any other staff member who wished to participate. Principal Terri Harpster felt the activity was something the school needed to do.
“We need to educate students on what veterans are,” said Harpster. “Many students believe that veterans are only people who fought for our country and died, they don’t realize that veterans are actually anyone who was in the military, whether or not they were involved in a war, dead or alive.”
Harpster added, “We want to educate our students about veterans and why they are so special. We get caught up in the airplanes and the bombs and ships, and we forget the human element.”
Students at Myers Elementary also participated in a project where each student traced three hands in the colors of red, white, and blue, which were used to create a gigantic flag that is currently on display in the lobby entrance of the school building. The reason for the project developed from how we cross our hearts with our hands when we say ‘The Pledge of Allegiance.’
Teacher at Myers, Mrs. Lee Hoffman, created two Power Point Programs illustrating the meaning and importance of Veterans Day, highlighting what a veteran is and a program on American symbols. Hoffman is a volunteer at the Veterans Home and her husband is a disabled veteran.
“Particularly for the students, I don’t think they have the appreciation of our freedom and the fact that people lost lives for our freedom, as maybe some of our older people do who were around during W.W.I and W.W.II,” said Harpster.
To extend the students knowledge of Veterans Day, there is a library showcase full of Armed Forces and patriotic items. There are also pictures of veterans that were donated by relatives on display. Cathy Moriarity, Barb Middleton, Jane Burget and Lee Hoffman were the people who collected the items that are on display. The display will remain through parent/teacher conferences for those interested in looking at it.
According to Harpster, the students really enjoyed the week of activities and learned a great deal about our veterans and why they are so special to America.
“They really got into it because we had the poster and essay contest, the kids just get into contests,” said Harpster. “We have a lot of people here on staff who have relatives, particularly parents, who were veterans.”
Even the young people in this great nation have the urge to learn how our freedom is sustained, and it’s nice to see that our educators in the area our willing to teach our children about our veterans.