PLATTSBURGH — This Valentine’s Day, students at Oak Street Elementary School hope to remind some of America’s military veterans just how much their service is appreciated.
“I hope they feel that we still remember them and we don’t just think of them on all the days that you’re supposed to think of them … we think of them as heroes,” said Brianna Warren, a student in Peggy Eaglefeather’s fifth-grade class.
Brianna and her classmates, as well as students in Jason Nisoff and Sarah McCarty’s fifth grades, recently put their sentiments into words for those who have served into words, writing letters to veterans hospitalized at Canandaigua Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Those letters, along with valentine cards that were handcrafted by the students, were mailed to veterans at the hospital just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Not knowing the names of the individuals who would receive their messages, many students began their letters: “Dear hero.”
“There are a lot of superheros, like Green Lantern, Batman and Superman, but there seems to be one left out — you,” wrote Mason LeClarec in his missive.
Classmate Avery Durgan thanked the future recipient of her letter for service to the country.
“You saved our lives,” Avery wrote. “Your sacrifice makes me proud to be an American.”
Kiera Lacombe used her letter as an opportunity to remind a veteran of his or her accomplishments.
“You have the courage and bravery to stand up for the rights of people you don’t even know,” she wrote. “You would not leave a man behind no matter what you were going up against. You did what was right. We are lucky to have people like you.”
CARRIED IDEA OVER
Nisoff was inspired to engage his students in the project, known as Valentines for Vets, two years ago, after transferring to Oak Street School from Stafford Middle School, where sixth-grade teacher Nancy Strack’s students annually create valentines for patients at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Albany.