VERNON, Conn. — There are many ways to say the words 'thank you.' For a group of students in Vernon, they wanted to say it in the form of a personalized greeting card as a way to honor and respect our fellow veterans.
"They’re not like cards that you would think they are but they’re very heartfelt," said Joseph Macary, superintendent of Vernon Public Schools.
40 students created 284 cards at Maple Street School and they won a gold trophy for creating the most cards for veterans.
The cards will be dropped off at local restaurants and nursing homes.
At the school assembly, cards were also passed out to the three veterans who attended.
"They serve in the Army, Military, Air Force, Navy and they help protect the country," said Hunter Neff, a fifth grader of Maple Street School.
One student even felt inspired to join the Air Force when she gets older.
"I want to help people and save the world," said Myesha Johnson, a fifth grader of Maple Street School.
Vernon Mayor Dan Champagne helped the students understand the impact of their greeting cards.
"It can get lonely and it’s always nice when you get a card from somebody in the United States thanking them for what they do," said Mayor Champagne.
Through speech and song, Tammy Salminen with the United States Navy shared her personal experiences.
"We signed up on the dotted line and we’re not sure where we’re going to go or what we’re going to be doing," said Salminen.
The history of Maple Street School does not stop the doors.
It just so happens 19 Gingko trees were planted in front of the school after World War I. Each tree has an engraved plaque with a veteran's name and the year they died. Each of those veterans also lived in Vernon.
"Veterans whether they’re living or deceased, we are American history," said Technical Sgt. Tyler Lesniak of the United States Air Force.
"I think it’s hard to move into the future without knowing your past," added Macary.
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