We celebrated Veterans Day with seven fine Veterans and a room full of thoughtful students, teachers, and parents. Our crowd spanned generations- from age five to eighty five yet we could not have been more unified. It was an honor to hear stories of military service marked by sacrifice, comradery, and the simple acts of kindness that carried these soldiers through. Students presented what they cherish about our country, the freedoms they value, and what we can do to perpetuate peace through understanding.
This was our 9th Veterans Day celebration. Traditions are a bit like spade work. Spade work is likened to working the soil when preparing to plant something. We worked the soil yesterday by creating space to listen to one another. Students listened, questioned, and recognized the commonalities between themselves and the brave individuals in front of them. Veterans heard the curiosity, awe, and everyday kindness of children. Despite differences in age and experience, an understanding was planted: We need to care for one another, we need to say thank you- often, and we need to do our jobs to the best of our ability.
The celebration closed with Caty Dalton playing the National Anthem on the violin. Amazing! Intimate classroom conversations followed. Thank you to everyone that attended and a special thank you to our guests and friends: Lt. Col. Dick Merritt, Dan Glidden, Brian Porter, Dwayne Romero, Jim Korpela, Alec Peiffer, Don Stuber, John Kelly (who joined us in spirit), and Jim Gilchrist for starting this tradition.