The middle school students of St. Theresa School in Trumbull recently honored some of our nation’s Veterans by creating and sending them Veteran’s Day cards. On November 11th, the students wrote to several veterans from both World War II and the Korean War.
This year marked the second year that the school’s Religion classes dedicated the day to learning about the sacrifices made by so many men and women throughout our nation’s history. They also learned that as Mary brought Jesus into the world at the Nativity, we each bring Christ to the world through service. In this particular activity, the students learned about the importance of service to our nation.
The veterans that the students wrote to this year included former President George H.W. Bush, former Vice-President Walter Mondale, longtime U.S. Senator Bob Dole, and baseball legends Dr. Bobby Brown and Bobby Doerr. Each student was assigned a veteran to write to, and designed their cards specifically to their assigned veteran.
“The Holy Spirit reminds all of us that while many wars took place years before any of these students were born, these veterans still need our love, support, and encouragement,” said John Agostino, the middle school Religion teacher at St. Theresa School. “It’s important for the students to recognize the sacrifices made by each veteran every day of the year, but especially on Veteran’s Day.”
Just days after sending out their cards, the students were thrilled to receive a response from Walter Mondale, who served for two years at Fort Knox during the Korean War. In his letter, he thanked the students for taking the time to write to him. He also stated, “One of the joys of my life was to have been involved in public life in our country.” Mr. Mondale was referring to both his service in the United States Army, his years as United States Senator, and his term as United States Vice President under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.
In addition to receiving a letter from Mr. Mondale, the students also received a response from Senator Dole who fought in World War II, and Dr. Brown who fought in the Korean War. In his letter, Dr. Brown stated, “The letters thanking me for my service to our nation represent the highest acclaim. It makes all the efforts I expended worthwhile.”
Dr. Brown is best remembered as the Third baseman for the New York Yankees who postponed his career from 1952 to 1954 in order to serve his nation. Through his example, the students learned how service to his nation was more important to Dr. Brown than any of the four World Series titles he won while a member of the New York Yankees.
Additionally, the students received a response from World War II veteran George H.W. Bush. While in World War II from 1942 to 1945, Bush reached the rank of Lieutenant, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation. Aside from his service in service in World War II, Bush is best remembered as the nation’s Vice President under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989, and as the nation’s forty-first President from 1989 to 1993.
In his letter, President Bush commented on the quality of the letters sent by the students. He wrote, “They (the letters) are all so well done, and I thank you for remembering me so thoughtfully.”
Similar to Mr. Mondale and Dr. Brown, President Bush also commented on the pleasure he had in serving our nation. He said, “Service to country is a high honor, and I count my years in the Navy and later as Vice President and President as the most rewarding of my life.”
Mr. Agostino and the students of St. Theresa School look forward to writing to more of our nation’s veterans in the future.