What Veterans Day Means To Me

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Marston Students Speak

By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, November 16, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
Music Teacher Gus Carlson and 5th grader Cloe Olson

Special to the Atlantic News

HAMPTON -- Marston School students in grades 3-5 were invited by music teacher Gus Carlson to write short essays entitled "What Veterans Day Means to Me" for the school's Veterans Day assembly, held on November 9. He anticipated that three of the essays (one from each grade level) would be selected to be read aloud to their honored guests at the assembly. However, says Carlson, response for the voluntary activity was so impressive (with more than 100 students submitting their work) that he selected 10 to be read at the assembly. They are reprinted here in this week's issue as part of the Atlantic News' annual Veterans Day coverage.

"Veterans Day means we should honor people who were or are in a war. My great-grandfathers were both in a war. My Grampa Al was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. I think that Veterans are very good people. I also think Veterans are people who are very brave to go out and risk their lives. I think that Veterans Day is a good way to thank all the Veterans."
- Cloe Olson, Grade 5

"Veterans Day is not a popular holiday. We don't get candy or presents, but we do get the day off from school. What could be so important about this day that we don't go to school and our parents get the day off from work? For me, Veterans Day is a day to honor my family members who have served in each war, from World War II to the first Gulf War. One of my grandfathers was in the Vietnam War, and the other was in the Army. Two of my great-grandfathers served in World War II and one was actually in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. My father was in the first Gulf War. This year, Veterans Day is about remembering the soldiers who are fighting for peace right now. Some of them are dying and some of them are getting shot and being really hurt. They all would rather be with their families, but they feel their job is too important so they keep fighting for peace to protect us. So this year, I want to honor Veterans Day by putting an American flag in my front yard, to honor those who risked their lives for me. I will also pray for those who are fighting today."
- By Sarah Fitzgerald, Grade 3

"What Veterans Day means to me is to honor the Veterans that were in the service. Veterans Day is to honor the men and women that helped save America. I think the Veterans don't get enough credit. They are the reason America stands right now."
- By Tyler Aversano, Grade 4

"To me, Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor veterans all over the United States, like the Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy. Almost every family all over the United States has a member who is a Veteran or in the Armed Forces. If I could I would like to say "thank you" to every one of them. So take this day, November 11, to remember all the men and women who served our country fighting for freedom. Thank you!"
- By Maggie McDonald, Grade 4

"I would like to say a few words on behalf of Veterans Day. Veterans Day means a lot to me. It represents al the great people who were in the military who fought for freedom for our country. Another thing that's really important to me is how they risk their lives so we can live our lives the way we want to. Veterans Day also means putting a flag on my grandfather's grave and saying "thank you" to him and all the other Veterans."
- By Kelly Arsenault, Grade 3

"Veterans Day means a lot to me. It means that millions of men and women go out to fight for what they believe in. Lots of people come back. But we don't just honor the ones that have died; we also remember the ones that have lived through it, too. Alive or not alive, they are all heroes in our hearts. Veterans Day was not a day just to be sad about the ones who have been kind enough to die in battle. We should be happy that millions of people are out there saving our wonderful country. My grandfathers have been in the armed services so I now how those people in the Navy feel like. Some people mix Memorial Day with Veterans Day. I think that Veterans Day is celebrated because of the support the armed services and how they have helped our country. Veterans Day is a great holiday. The more kids that enter this writing contest all have a love for one of the best holidays ever. I thank Mr. Carlson for giving out this assignment and making kids realize that Veterans Day is special, exciting and wonderful. I bet right now Veterans all over the world are happy and they want to know why. Before I started this paper I didn't really care about Veterans Day, but now I know why we celebrate this very great holiday: We celebrate it because we want to show that we care."
- By Abby Arsenault, Grade 4

"I think Veterans Day is a day to think about the people who have risked their lives for us, and spent their lives defending and helping our country. Veterans have served our country through the Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, Navy and Marines. We live in a free country, and most people just take that for granted. But we only live in a free country because of the Veterans that have made this place a good, safe place to live in. If Veterans had not served America, there might not ever be a time when you could speak your thoughts. Public places might not be so public, since African Americans and Asian Americans may not be allowed to enter them. There would probably be no elections either. Without Veterans there might even be no America. Wow, Veterans have certainly changed our lives! So, the least we can do to thank these brave men and women is to make a holiday for them, which is Veterans Day - the day when we realize how important Veterans are in everything we do. On Veterans Day, we can honor these courageous people who risked their very own lives for our very own lives, and for our country. So, I just wanted to say "thank you" to all the Veterans that have secured our freedom and helped our country in so many wonderful ways.
- By Kate Casassa, Grade 4

"I think Veterans Day is a very important holiday. I think it is important because it honors the noble soldiers who survived a very hard thing: War. It is an amazing joy and a great reason to celebrate. It is a good thing that we honor the brave men and women who risked their lives for their country. These people are what made America what it is today. Without these brave souls, we would be lost. It is very important to honor these wonderful people for their wonderful service to this amazing country. American Veterans are definitely worth celebrating. Hoorah for the Veterans!"
- By Sarah Lamie, Grade 5

"I think Veterans Day is an honored holiday. It is important to respect and honor the people who have served in the military. The people who put their lives at risk let us be free and safe. On this day we should unite as one to give thanks to all Veterans, including firefighters and police. All the people who serve us are heroes in my eyes. Someday I hope to serve my country as a Marine. I will help to keep the USA free and safe. I want to say thanks to all Veterans, especially those who died or were injured in serving our country. I will always have a special spot in my heart for all Veterans."
- By Joe Ricardo, Grade 5

"Veterans have a strong heart, they fight for their country, they risk their lives - all to protect others. They are definitely extraordinary people. That is why we should honor these individuals. They think of others first and that means a lot to me. Here is an example of these kind people who risk their lives for others - but this person risked his life for the other people who were risking their lives for us! My Grampy (my great grandpa) was a medic in World War II. He ran out onto the battlegrounds and carried people who were wounded and injured to the nurse. That is my example of someone who risked his life to help others. This is why we should honor every single person who is or was in the Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, Army, and Air Force, or in any of the military branches. That's what Veterans Day means to me."
- By Julia Valgenti, Grade 4

[See also, Schools Salute Local Veterans]