Kingsbury students get lesson in patriotism

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 14, 2004

Asked what a veteran is, 6-year-old Parker Rowe answered promptly "They're in the Army."

Asked why we have Veterans Day, 6-year-old Alison Dickess replied "People have died for our country."

Rowe, Dickess and their fellow students at Kingsbury Elementary School shared thoughts on courage and sacrifice Thursday as part of the school's Veterans Day observance. The guest of honor was Stephen Saunders, commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 51.

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The children displayed for Saunders what they have learned in their classroom studies about Veterans Day. Some performed a skit while others read reports on the history of the national observance.

Saunders, an Air Force veteran who saw combat in Vietnam, told the children that freedom is not free. It is paid over and over again by the sacrifices of American service men and women. On Veterans Day, Americans honor that sacrifice.

"Many men and women have suffered many things to protect our freedom. Some of them are in war right now, in combat," Saunders told the children.

Saunders told the children that while no one wants to go to war and be injured or die, those who give of themselves to help others are heroes. And ultimately, the land we live in is worth fighting for.

"America isn't perfect," he told them. "But it is the best country on earth. I've been to different countries. I've been to Thailand and the Philippines. They're nice places, but America is my home."