McAlister & SHS Honor Vets

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Photo by Lester Smith

McAlister principal Karen Carpenter-Snow holds the mike as two students lead the Pledge of Allegiance in the school’s Veterans Day assembly.

Photo by Lester Smith

As a Suffield High School student examines a WWII military helmet, Bob Bussolari describes his experiences as a forward observer in the Army during the Italian campaign of that immense war.

McAlister Intermediate School and Suffield High School both held observances for Veterans Day on November 12, with very different approaches appropriate to the very different maturities of the schools’ students. McAlister’s, for grades 3, 4, and 5, was akin to the observance three days earlier at Spaulding School for Kindergarten and grades 1 and 2. Both offered recitations, performances, and videos in a school-wide assembly, plus a brunch. Both emphasized “Thanks for Your Service” to about 70 visiting vets.

SHS offered a brunch, too, and didn’t neglect “Thanks,” but only nine veterans were invited, and they were put to work over four school periods with individual classes, speaking – sometimes quite dramatically – about their military experiences: what they learned, what they enjoyed, what they endured. These were not all recruiting sessions, though they might have clarified the future plans of some students. Others helped reveal the personal cost of what we are thankful for.

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