MSES salutes area veterans
Patriotic songs and stories filled the air of Marion Springs Elementary School Friday as the MSES students celebrated Veterans Day in a reader's theater format.
Several children took turns reading from "America's White Table," written by Margot Theis Raven.
"We all felt like we needed to do something for Veterans Day," MSES librarian Rita Tutschulte said. "I stumbled on to this book and thought it would be perfect for a reader's theater."
The celebration had many visitors, including 15 military veterans, who had served in World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and the recent wars in Iraq.
MSES Principal and Marine veteran Gus Wegner was pleased with the assembly.
"She said she wanted to do it in a reader's theater format like she did," said Wegner. "It just evolved and she sent out notices to veterans. We were very pleased -- for the first time doing it, that it went really well."
Several of the students introduced relatives that are veterans. They then gave the veterans a Purple Heart necklace and a patriotic compact disc made by the MSES students.
"I think many of the students learned a lot as well," Tutschulte said. "Many of them didn't know they had veterans in their family. So it was a learning experience for them, also."
Wegner said many students were surprised when he was introduced as a veteran.
"When I stood up, some of the kids said 'you are a veteran?', because they didn't realize that," Wegner said. "I am always a little reluctant to tell people, but that's just the way I am."
The Marion Springs' students sang the National Anthem to begin the program. Then they sang several other patriotic songs.
Tutschulte said the program ranks high on her list of accomplishments as an educator.
"It was one of the most rewarding things I have done in my 16 years of teaching," Tutschulte said.
After the assembly, the students and veterans ate lunch together.
Tutschulte and Wegner both said they hope to do this again next year, while improving it slightly.
Wegner said Veterans Day is always special to him for many reasons.
"When you finish, it was just another stage in your life and you move on," Wegner said. "You don't realize until after how special it is. There's always a significance, and maybe more so as you get older, of that day. You always think about the people that you have lost. Every year it is a little more special."
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