OSWEGO, NY ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Veterans’ Day is more than just a day off from school.
Kingsford Park Elementary School teacher James Hartmann had more than a passing interest in the Monday holiday. He is a sergeant in the Army National Guard and was stationed in Taji, Iraq, for a full year.
Students gathered on the gymnasium floor and listened intently to veterans George Hoffman and Dave Dirk as they explained the importance of serving their country.
The veterans talked about why the elected to join the military and what it meant to be wearing a uniform to defend the United States.
Hartmann said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe wanted students to recognize why we observe Veterans’ Day. We invited members of Post 2320 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to help us put a face on those living veterans that have made sacrifices in the name of freedom.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Continuing he noted, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe wanted the students to understand that veterans are out in our community, normal people with families and friends that they were willing to put their lives on hold for our country.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Hartmann explained to the children what it was like to be away from home, to carry all of your belongings in backpacks, and the reminded them to thank any veteran they knew for serving to protect freedom.
It was hoped an impression could be made upon the students.
Hartmann noted, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe dedication of these people is something that should be admired and we want students to recognize them for helping to preserve the way of life that we value so much. The best indicator of how the assembly went was that students made it a point to shake hands and thank our guest speakers for the sacrifices they have made.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â