GREAT FALLS — Students at Chief Joseph Elementary School honored military veterans with a Veterans Day luncheon on Friday, November 10, 2023.
The students were asked to invite a family member that was involved in the military to enjoy lunch at the school, where they had displays of arts and crafts honoring veterans, as well as red, white, and blue cake pops.
“I’m having my dad, he’s in the military,” said Avery, a fifth-grader. “He’s a captain…he gets to come today, and I’m really excited.”
As a way to teach kids about gratitude, the desserts were served to veterans by the students themselves, learning what it means to serve and put others before themselves.
While it might seem like a relatively small act of appreciation, the gesture did not go unnoticed by the veterans.
“The community as a whole does a lot for veterans,” said James E. Maloney Jr, a U.S. Air Force veteran, “and I think in this day and age, I think that veterans being recognized is a wonderful thing.”
In the lobby of the school was a display to remember Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.
There was a table with symbols that correspond to those who have lost family and friends in an unknown way.
Also in the lobby were dozens of worksheets made by the kids, detailing who they knew in their life that had served in the military.
“We're very, very fortunate to be here,” Maloney Jr said, “And we appreciate what Great Falls has done for us. And we think it's a great community. People are friendly and there are lots to do here. And we call this home.”
According to staff members at Chief Joseph, one in four students has a connection with the military.
Because of the strong military population, the school wanted to teach kids valuable lessons that could help them understand and appreciate Veterans Day, as well as the community around them.
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