“If I was able to send letters to all branches [of the military] I would say thank you for saving our lives and fighting to make this a free country. If we didn’t have the military, it would be a lot different and we wouldn’t have a lot of things or have the freedom to do them on our own,” shares Zion G. 4th grade student of George Washington Carver Montessori, in celebration of Veterans Day.
Earlier this week, the Indianapolis community and people across the world joined together to honor and remember Veterans for their service to our country; a tradition that commemorates the end to World War I on November 11, 1918.
The staff and students at George Washington Carver Montessori School 87 honored our veterans with a “Remembrance Wall,” a tradition passed down from the father of Principal Nardo.
“My father was a 30-year career marine officer, retired at 53 years old. After he retired he started substitute teaching at a local high school, the principal there liked him and hired him as a full-time ROTC instructor. He continued teaching through the remainder of his life; 20 years. He started this tradition with his students of putting up a wall of honor to celebrate any veteran, alive or passed,” says Principal Nardo.
Although the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June of 1919, all fighting ceased seven months prior when an armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The following year, Armistice Day was observed for the first time, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.” An Act approved on May of 1938 made November 11 a legal holiday, at the time known as Armistice Day. With push back from various veterans service organizations after World War II the Act of 1938 was amended, striking out the word “Armistice” and replacing it with the word “Veterans.” The approval of this legislation now allows us to honor American veterans of all wars.
“Many people don’t know how to show their gratitude, I think we can step back and honor and respect the commitment that they’ve made; for some it was the ultimate sacrifice,” says Principal Nardo. “It’s a big part of a Montessori to teach about peace, doing your best and trying hard, many gave their lives to maintain peace. It’s a part of what we do [in this school] to honor someone’s commitment to doing their best.”
Students throughout the district were given the opportunity to celebrate, remember and honor the men and women that have served our country. Roger W., 5th grader of George Washington Carver Montessori shared his story, “My grandpa was facing the Germans and fighting for America. He almost made it. I know my papa tried to get everyone in America to freedom, he wanted people to be free to make their own decisions.”
Fifth grader Rosalynn R. simply shared her gratitude. “I want to honor those who fought in the war for us, others may not have the chance to play because they are not free, but I can, for that I am thankful.”