Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You, Veterans

The Things That Make A Soldier Great 
                                          -- Edgar Guest 

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die, 
To face the flaming cannon's mouth nor ever question why, 
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red, 
The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed, 
The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall: 
'Tis these that make a soldier great. He's fighting for them all.   

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave; 
'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave; 
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam 
As when behind the cause they see the little place called home. 
Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run, 
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun. 

What is it through the battle smoke the valiant solider sees? 
The little garden far away, the budding apple trees, 
The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play, 
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray. 
The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome 
But to the spot, where'er it be -- the humblest spot called home. 

And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there 
And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air; 
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green, 
And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been. 
He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call, 
And only death can stop him now -- he's fighting for them all.

Doesn't that poem choke you up a bit??? I'm such a marshmallow... I totally cried. I'm just so thankful for all the sacrifices our veterans give for us to live in freedom.
This is another page I created in MDS2 for hubby. His grandfather, father, and his brothers also share in the honor of having served our country as Marines. Don't you just love a man in uniform???  :}

I can't begin to tell you how completely awed I was on Friday. I am so thankful and blessed that my children attend a school that spends as much effort honoring veterans as it does celebrating other holidays. The school held an assembly on Friday, with coffee and yummies for veterans before the assembly started. I thought the kids were just going to sing a song or two and clap for the veterans... boy was I wrong! 
After the 600 students filled the bleachers and the parents and veterans were officially welcomed, the assembly opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem sung so well by a 5th grade student that it gave me chills. Everyone - EVERYONE - stood, removed their caps, held their hands over their hearts, and saved their applause until the soloist finished. 4th and 5th grade students took turns reading about the history of Veteran's Day and sharing poetry. There was even a flag folding ceremony. And the entire grade school sang five songs so well, you couldn't help but smile. 
My Dad - a retired veteran and teacher - was just as amazed as I was. Although I did tease him for coming just so he could have some doughnuts.  ;)  While we were mingling in the cafeteria, I saw these adorable art projects the students created. 
 inside the speech bubble: We are thankful for our Veterans!!! 

Aren't these projects great?! If I were still in the classroom, I would definitely do these projects with my students. LOVE them!! 
I will leave you with a short video of the students singing their hearts out: 
God bless all the the men and women who so bravely serve our country!  

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