Before their hands laced up combat boots or trained on the use of weapons, they were the same size as today’s fifth graders.
So when more than a dozen members of the American Veterans Association of Washington Township (AVAWT) joined in with Old Farmers Road School fifth graders recently for a truly hands-on project, seeing the progression of generations was truly amazing.
The group of veterans came to the elementary school on Monday, Nov. 11 for the annual Flag Raising Ceremony in honor of Veterans Day. When they were there, the school’s art teacher, Kelly Bruno, asked if they’d be interested in one more activity.
“I actually saw something similar on Pinterest,” Bruno said. “And when they came in to do the project, you could really tell how excited they were.”
Bruno is referring to the piece of canvas now adorned with a hand-painted replica of the American flag. The veterans came in, had their hands painted red, and made imprints in straight lines to mark the stripes on flag.
In the days following, more than 50 fifth graders would do the same, extending the red stripes across the surface of the canvas to complete the project.
On Thursday, a dozen of the veterans came back to Old Farmers Road School to see the finished project and spend a few more minutes with the fifth grade class.
“It’s a spectacular project,” veteran Forrest Burgener said. “Our guys were really excited about this one.” The group spends much of the school year traveling from the building to building talking to students about history taking part in projects.
Before the full grade of students could shuffle back to their classes after taking a photo with the veterans, the AVAWT’s leader had one more thing to say.
“We want to thank you for all you’ve done for the veterans,” Commander Martin Fleischer said. “Please keep spreading the word about what our soldiers do and thank you for recognizing us.”
The flag will now adorn the halls of Old Farmers Road School for future generations of students and veterans to see.