When Bill Atkinson asked a group of Terraset Elementary kindergartners and first graders how many of them had relatives who have served in the nation’s military, tens of hands shot up.
"This weekend is all about recognizing the sacrifices they made," Atkinson told the group. He and David Tyler, both members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Sterling Post 9478, spoke to Terraset students on Monday morning, Nov. 12, about the significance of the service the nation’s veterans provide. Scott Logan, a veteran and a fifth grade teacher at Terraset, said that the program is a good opportunity to expose the students at the school to the importance of recognizing veterans’ service to the nation.
Tyler read "The Wall" to the students, a story about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The school’s librarian Josie Stanmyre explained that this year marks the wall’s 25th anniversary. Atkinson read "God Bless America," provoking tears from some of the teachers seated in Terraset’s library. He also explained why people wear red poppies on Veterans Day, saying that they originated during World War I and represented the fields where soldiers were buried during battles.
Atkinson said Terraset invites members of his VFW post each year. He chooses to participate to make sure Veterans Day is remembered. "It is an opportunity to talk to the young children and to instill in them a sense of pride of what Veterans Day is all about," said Atkinson. Tyler added: "It is a good way to stay in touch with our local community."