Earlier in the day, we spent a great deal of time discussing the significance of the holiday, its origins, and its history. Students were very receptive and interested in hearing about the holiday.
With two very well-done online videos, I wanted to address our November lifeskill focus: gratitude. How do we show our appreciation to men and women who may have put themselves in harm's way for the future of the United States of America? The answer doesn't have to be complicated or huge: it's simply a matter of saying something like "Thank you for your service."
All the television stations reported on the program, along with the newspaper, but the local talk radio station specifically mentioned my students, the ones with permission to approach the veterans personally. As students looked those men and women in the face and told them thank you for their service, reporter Joe Lancello interviewed Robert Lansing, a Vietnam veteran. Lancello asked what he thought about the program. Lansing responded:
Vietnam vets are not used to being thanked. When we came home from a thankless war. They're making up for it now. To see the youth today, makes me glad that I put in the time I put in for them. They're our future. Handshakes feel good, I can shake them all day long, they're all so wonderful. These kids are what it's all about from now on.
All in all, even the smallest show of gratitude makes a huge difference to people, whether military or civilian. Why don't we do show it more often to everyone?