Veterans Day Teacher Resource Guide 2012
Veterans Day Teacher Resource Guide 2012
Thank you for your interest in contributing to the hundreds of celebrations that will commemorate Veterans Day 2012. This Teacher Resource Guide is designed to help educators teach students about the legacy of Veterans Day, why it is celebrated and how to properly thank our Nation’s servicemen and women for their sacrifices.
Currently, there are more than 22 million Veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces that have reintegrated back into our society. It is quite likely that one of your students has a parent, grandparent, sibling or neighbor who is a Veteran or still serving. By engaging in discussion about these crucial members of our society, students will be able to hear from and about those who helped shape American
history. Our hope is that students will be encouraged to learn more of these often Unheard stories from those close to them.
This resource guide, along with another group of America’s finest — our educators — will allow students, on Veterans Day, to learn more about the price these brave service members have paid to defend our nation. Thanks again and please join us in
remembering our Veterans on Veterans Day, November 11, 2012.
THE School Assembly:
Because the weather can be quite cold in November in many parts of the country, an indoor assembly is far more sensible than one that would take place outside, eliminating the need for foul weather plans. The scope of such a program may be large enough to permit invitations to the community, to include local Veterans groups. Students can be encouraged to bring family members that are Veterans (especially parents, siblings or grandparents) or currently in the Armed Forces.
Inviting local Veterans groups:
Inviting local Veterans groups can make assembly programs far more exciting and meaningful for students. Students tend to better understand and absorb the significance of Veterans Day when they can attach a human face to it. In addition, Veterans groups often put on very exciting shows. From stirring renditions of the
National Anthem and Taps to thrilling speeches and stories, Veterans, as guests, will both entertain and educate students. Veterans groups in your area can be found through your local Veterans service organization chapters and VA hospitals. You might be surprised at how many Veterans live in your area. Schools that send out invitations often end up with former generals and admirals, Medal of Honor recipients and other distinguished guests coming to speak.
Classroom Activity Guide:
Weather permitting, outdoor flag-raising ceremonies highlight an activity that occurs daily at many schools, but often goes unnoticed. Such a ceremony, although brief, should include the Pledge of Allegiance and the playing of the National Anthem. A special guest may be invited to participate.
Local Veterans, historical or other patriotic organizations may enliven Veterans Day programs by providing period-uniformed flag bearers, fife and drum corps, and other marching and musical units. These organizations may also provide speakers with unique military experiences to share. One of the most popular activities among students is to meet with local Veterans during an assembly or in individual classrooms to hear Veterans share their experiences and answer questions. The Veterans can be relatives of students or members of local Veterans service organizations.
Messages for Veterans
One of the most personal and meaningful Veterans Day activities for students is to send notes or cards to hospitalized Veterans or those living in Veterans’ homes. Students can design and send individual notes or cards or work together as a group to send an oversized card or poster signed by all of the students in a class. The cards and posters can then be mailed in one large envelope to the nearest VA medical center or state Veterans home. Addresses for state Veterans homes and VA medical centers in your area can be found in the blue government pages of the telephone book. There also is a search box to locate a VA facility on the VA Web site: www.va.gov/health/. Envelopes sent to VA medical centers should be addressed to “Voluntary Service Director” and those sent to Veterans homes should be addressed to “Administrator.”
Veterans Day stories can be featured in school publications. Publish a roster of faculty members who are Veterans. Describe Veterans Day activities being held in classrooms throughout the school.
School or community libraries can prepare lists of recommended reading material suitable for Veterans Day. An appropriate display of book jackets or a special shelf containing selected publications can be used to call attention to the project. For more ideas, go to the Library of Congress Web site for children at www.americaslibrary.gov.
Veterans Day is observed at the time of year when schools and clubs are engaged in the football season. The presentation of the colors and playing of the National Anthem may be keyed to Veterans Day by an appropriate public address announcement. Halftime presentations by school bands afford an ideal opportunity to offer special patriotic selections and marching routines. Card section displays may also be used to spell out phrases such as “Thank You Veterans” or “Veterans Day” in stadium stands to visually recognize those who served in the military.
Uniforms and Emblems
The colorful and varied uniforms and emblems worn by members of the Armed Forces throughout our history offer students of all ages ideal subjects to draw and paint. Elementary school children enjoy opportunities to create and exhibit costume items. Making colored construction paper hats representing various military eras is a modest and effective way of gaining the interest of students in Veterans Day subjects. The official emblems and seals of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard can be portrayed by students in a variety of methods, such as mosaics, applique, decoupage, as well as the traditional painting and drawing approaches.
Movies and Documentaries
To introduce students to a particular war or period of service, show appropriately rated movies and documentaries as a starting point to discuss the history, politics and meaning behind each war. Consider bringing a Veteran into the classroom to discuss his or her personal experience in the service and how it compares to the movies.
The creative talents of students can be encouraged through a school-wide Veterans Day poster contest. Winners should be appropriately recognized. Local newspapers should be invited to photograph the winning entries.
Veterans Day offers an exciting opportunity for school or community musical organizations to display their talents. A midday concert at the school or at a central location in the community may be dedicated to Veterans Day. An innovative program might include selections known to have been popular during America’s wars. Visit the Patriotic Melodies link at the Library of Congress Web site for a sample of patriotic music: www.loc.gov/performingarts/index.html.
Ask students to research and list known relatives who have served in the Armed Forces. With nearly a quarter of the United States population consisting of Veterans, their dependents and survivors, students may tap into a rich history going back as far as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
Veterans Day themes can be included in writing assignments. Assign students to write about accounts of military service told by local Veterans. Assign students to investigate the various benefits offered to Veterans by government agencies. Write about Veterans who are receiving educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Describe various Veterans memorials which may be located nearby.
School Cafeteria Activities
Patriotic decorations in school dining areas add a colorful reminder of Veterans Day. One could create special menu items such as decorated cupcakes or cookies. Download the 2012 Veterans Day poster from the Veterans Day Web site for placement in the cafeteria, in classrooms and on school bulletin boards.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Local VA facilities — medical centers, benefits offices and national cemeteries can serve as sources of information and speakers for Veterans Day programs. They can also provide contact with local Veterans service organizations and arrange visits, tours and other special programs for students. To contact your local VA facilities, look under Department of Veterans Affairs in the federal government listings in the local telephone directory.
The following section provides resources, hand-outs and activities for students, which will help them better understand and appreciate Veterans Day. Please select resources that are appropriate for the grade level of your students and feel free to reproduce the following pages as necessary.
How useful is this guide? Send your comments or suggestions to email@example.com.
ORIGINS OF VETERANS DAY
Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, organized a Veterans Day parade for that city on November 11, 1947, to honor all of America's Veterans for their loyal service. Later, U.S. Representative Edward H. Rees of Kansas proposed legislation changing the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all who have served in America’s Armed Forces.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veterans Affairs, to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day. In addition to fulfilling that mission, the committee oversees the annual production and distribution of the annual Veterans Day poster and this Teacher Resource Guide.
In 1968, Congress moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, it became apparent that the November 11th date was historically significant to a great many Americans. As a result, Congress formally returned the observance of Veterans Day to its traditional date in 1978.
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11 a.m., a color guard, made up of members from each of the military services, renders honors to America's war dead during a tradition-rich ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds “Taps.” The balance of the ceremony, including a "Parade of Flags" by numerous Veterans service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb. In addition to planning and coordinating the National Veterans Day Ceremony, the Veterans Day National Committee supports a number of Veterans Day Regional Sites. These sites conduct Veterans Day celebrations that provide excellent examples for other communities to follow. For a listing of these sites, please visit: www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/regsites.asp.
What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Both holidays were established to recognize and honor the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. But Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday in May, was originally set aside as a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.
While those who died are also remembered on Veterans Day, which is observed on November 11, Veterans Day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living Veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.
To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
student volunteers earn scholarships
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) selected eight youth volunteers to receive cash awards from the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program. The first-place scholarship of $20,000 was awarded to Christiana Mae Hess of Martinsburg, W.Va., who has contributed more than 347 hours of service at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Martinsburg. The second-place scholarship of $15,000 went to Kelsey Arline Lewis of Boise, Idaho. A third-place award of $10,000 went to Karstin Paulus Patterson of Long Beach, Calif.
Two volunteers, Christopher Tinker of Birmingham, Ala., and Jessica M. Kelsey of Fresno, Calif., received $7,500 scholarships, and three others, Denise Powell of Biloxi, Miss., Devon Turney of Louisville, Ky., and Aleshya Catrese Richardson of Washington, D.C., were granted $5,000 scholarships.
The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program honors outstanding young volunteers who are active participants in the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service programs. The scholarships are awarded to deserving young men and women who have donated their time and compassion to injured and ill veterans in their communities.
“The young men and women who received this year’s scholarships exhibit outstanding compassion and devotion to serve veterans as volunteers at VA medical centers and facilities,” said DAV National Commander Donald L. Samuels. “The quality of their character and the respect they have for our veterans make them excellent volunteers. They give their best to help our veterans.”
Hess, 18, served in the outpatient pharmacy and ambulatory care unit of the Martinsburg VA medical center where she was a first-line of communication with patients, explaining procedures to obtain prescriptions. She has also assisted nurses by preparing packages for patient testing and updating pharmacy manuals.
“My future goals are greatly influenced by my experience volunteering at the Martinsburg VAMC,” said Hess. “Working for the VA as a pharmacist is my long-term goal. I want to continue serving our veterans.” - Courtesy Disabled American Veterans
How to Become a VA Student Volunteer:
1) Contact the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs facility. You can locate a VA facility by visiting www.va.gov/health/ and click on the “Locations” tab. Ask to speak with the Voluntary Service staff and express your interest in becoming a Volunteer. The staff will take care of everything else including your interview, orientation and assignment.
2) Visit www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/, fill out and submit the form. Someone from the local Voluntary Service staff will contact you with further information.
Veterans History project
The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center was launched in 2000 to collect, preserve and share the first-person recollections of America’s Veterans. VHP offers a variety of educational and experiential opportunities for students.
Generations of students in classrooms across this nation learn about America’s military history from textbooks and online media. Oral history programs, like VHP, elaborate on these textbook accounts of history and serve as a rich resource of primary source material for students and teachers alike. Learning comes to life in an authentic way when students are able to hear directly from those who lived during historic wartime moments.
The VHP features the stories of diverse Veterans who served the nation in wartime in an ever growing online series called, “Experiencing War.” VHP is diverse and represents more than 85,000 collections including stories from men and women Veterans of all races and ethnicities, conflicts and branches of service. More than 11,000 of these collections are digitized and are viewable to anyone with Internet access at www.loc.gov/vets. With advance notice of at least a week, collections can also be viewed in the American Folklife Center reading room at the Library of Congress.
How Can I Record a Story?
VHP relies on volunteers to record the oral histories of Veterans, as well as collect original photographs, diaries, letters, memoirs, maps and other wartime documents. Hundreds of community outreach programs nationwide (e.g., the United States Congress; colleges, universities and schools; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; civic organizations; faith-based groups; Veterans service organizations; and libraries) contribute stories of Veterans to the VHP collection. Veterans from every Congressional District in all 50 states, the U.S. Territories and all branches of the U.S. military have shared their stories.
Students (grades 10 and higher) and teachers who are interested in participating may follow VHP’s straightforward guidelines to learn the process of recording the story of a Veteran. A revised and updated Veterans History Project Field Kit provides step-by-step instructions to collect and preserve Veterans’ stories. Field Kits are available online: www.loc.gov/vets. In addition, a 15-minute Field Kit Companion Video that explains the VHP process is posted on iTunes U at http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/veterans-history-project/id438186138.
Record the story of the Veteran in your life so that his or her story can be a part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. Generations to come will benefit from hearing the story.
Credit: Veterans History Project
“A SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD”
In 1921, an American soldier—his name “known but to God”—was buried on a Virginia hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, DC. The burial site of this unknown World War I soldier in Arlington National Cemetery symbolized dignity and reverence for America’s veterans.
Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an “unknown soldier” of the Great War was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe).
These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as “Armistice Day.”
Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action. If World War I had indeed been “the war to end all wars,” November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But in 1939, World War II broke out in Europe and shattered that dream. Of the 16 million Americans who served in the Armed Forces during World War II, more than 400,000 died.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart offers scholarships to: members, their spouses and direct descendants (child, step-child, grandchild or great grandchild) of either (1) a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart or (2) a Veteran killed in action or a Veteran who died of wounds, but did not have the opportunity to join the Military Order of the Purple Heart. For additional information, please visit www.purpleheart.org/scholarships/.
The Military Officers Association of America provides scholarships and grants to children of military personnel seeking their undergraduate degree. The online application is available in early November and information on the different programs may be found at www.moaa.org/education.
The DAV Youth Volunteer Scholarship – The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship – encourages young people to get involved in volunteer work to assist disabled Veterans. This program recognizes young volunteers who are active participants in the VA Voluntary Service program. Volunteers age 21 or younger, volunteering a minimum of 100 hours at a VA medical center during the previous calendar year, are eligible. Scholarships can be used at any accredited institution of higher learning; to include universities, colleges, community colleges, vocational schools, etc. Scholarships must be utilized in full prior to the recipient attaining the age of 25. Immediate family members of the DAV national organization are eligible to receive a scholarship. Nominations for this award can be submitted by the Voluntary Service Program Manager at the VA medical center. For additional information, please visit www.dav.org/volunteers/Scholarship.aspx.
The VFW’s Scout of the Year Scholarship program provides a $5,000 award to an outstanding scout who is the recipient of a Boy Scout Eagle Award, a Venture Scouting Silver Award or a Sea Scout Quartermaster Award. Second-place winner receives a $3,000 award. Third-place winner receives $1,000. Complete information and entry forms can be accessed at www.vfw.org by clicking on the community tab. Applicants must submit their entry to their local VFW Post by March 1.
The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) supports America’s future leaders by awarding more than $100,000 annually in scholarships to deserving students. Awardees are selected based on financial need, academic standing, character and leadership qualities. FRA scholarships are awarded to FRA members, their spouses, children, and grandchildren. For information, visit www.fra.org and click on “About FRA” for the scholarships link.
The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) offers the Kathryn F. Gruber Scholarship Program. These scholarships are available for spouses or dependent children of blinded Veterans. For information, visit www.bva.org and click on “programs”.
The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc., offers a scholarship for members in good standing for at least one year. It is available for a member’s spouse or their linear descendants to include adopted children, stepchildren, foster children and their immediate descendants. The applicant must be enrolled or accepted to a program of any post-secondary education. Information is available by calling 1-800-843-8626.
The LaVerne Noyes Scholarship is awarded on an annual basis to direct blood descendants of Veterans who served in the U.S. Army, Navy or Marine Corps in World War I and whose service was terminated by death or honorable discharge. The Veteran must have fulfilled at least one of the following criteria: (a) Served on active duty overseas between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, (b) Died in service between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, (c) Served at least 6 months on non combat duty between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918. A scholarship recipient must be enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking undergraduate program. This scholarship is awarded on an annual basis. The dollar amount of the scholarship will be determined by the total number of eligible recipients and the funds available from the endowment each year. Please contact your university’s tuition assistance office for information.
The Voice of Democracy is a audio-essay contest for students in grades 9 -12. Students are required to write and record a script on a patriotic theme. The 2011 - 2012 theme is “Is there pride in serving in our military”. The essay, entry form and cassette or CD must be submitted to a local VFW Post. A total of more than $3 million in scholarships and incentives are given each year. The first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Deadline for entries is November 1, 2011. For additional information, click on the “Community” tab at
Patriot’s Pen is an essay contest for students in grades 6 - 8. The entry, deadline and competition process is similar to the Voice of Democracy. Winners compete at the national level for U.S. Savings Bonds. For information, visit www.vfw.org and click on the tab “Community”.
research local War Memorials
Sixty miles south of the National Mall in Washington, DC is a small marker that pays homage to Union Troops who fought in the battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War.
Across our nation, memorials and markers can be found that honor the brave men and women who have served our nation. From the Revolutionary War to our present conflict in Afghanistan, these memorials range in size and scope from large monuments that represent a state’s service to small plaques that may recognize only a few individuals from a small town. These memorials are not intended to glorify war, but to ensure that we remember the sacrifice by those men and women who have offered and given their life to ensure our freedom and liberties.
A memorial in Charleston, South Carolina, features a grieving woman’s hand placed upon an overturned rifle and helmet and the other cradling a folded American flag, symbolizing both loss and hope. This memorial contains names of local South Carolinians who lost their life in service to our nation.
The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, was erected in order to pay homage to not just U.S. forces, but “In Tribute to the valor, fidelity and sacrifice of Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944.” Not only does this particular memorial commemorate the American lives lost during the invasion of Europe, but also our nation’s allies.
The United States War Dog memorial in Holmdel, New Jersey pays tribute to the canines that have assisted our military dating back to World War I. Nearly four thousand working dogs assisted the U.S. military in Vietnam and their roles continue today in sniffing out bombs and protecting our heroes overseas.
Important Things to Remember – The Flag
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. If not in uniform, a person should remove his or her hat with the right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, with the hand over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render military salute.
Display the U.S. flag every day, but especially on national and state holidays. On Memorial Day, the flag should be flown at half-staff in the forenoon (sunrise until noon), then raised to its normal position at the top of the staff. When raising the flag to half-staff, first raise it to the top of the staff, then lower it half-way. When lowering a flag that has been flying at half-staff, first raise it to the top of the staff, then lower it all the way. The U.S. flag should be displayed on or near the main building of every public institution, in or near every school on school days, and in or near every polling place on election days. Always hoist the U.S. flag briskly. Lower it slowly and ceremoniously.
Things Not to Do
Never show disrespect to the U.S. flag. Never dip (lower quickly and then raise) the U.S. flag to any person or thing. Regimental colors, state flags and organization or institutional flags are dipped as a mark of honor. Never display the U.S. flag with the field of stars at the bottom, except as a distress signal. Never let the U.S. flag touch anything beneath it — ground, floor, water or merchandise. Never carry the U.S. flag horizontally, but always aloft and free.
Always allow the U.S. flag to fall free — never use the U.S. flag as drapery, festooned, drawn back or up in folds. For draping platforms and decoration in general, use blue, white and red bunting. Always arrange the bunting with blue above, the white in the middle and the red below. Never fasten, display, use or store the U.S. flag in a manner that will permit it to be easily torn, soiled or damaged in any way. Never use the U.S. flag as a covering or drape for a ceiling. Never place anything on the U.S. flag and never have placed upon it, or on any part of it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.
The U.S. flag should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, and the like; printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discarded; or used as any portion of a costume or athletic uniform.
WORLD WAR I (1917 - 1918)
Total Servicemembers (Worldwide) 4,734,991
Battle Deaths 53,402
Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 63,114
Non-mortal Woundings 204,002
Living Veterans 0
WORLD WAR II (1941 - 1945)
Total Servicemembers (Worldwide) 16,112,566
Battle Deaths 291,557
Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 113,842
Non-mortal Woundings 670,846
Living Veterans 1,711,000
KOREAN WAR (1950 - 1953)
Total Servicemembers (Worldwide) 5,720,000
Battle Deaths 33,739
Other Deaths (in Theater) 2,835
Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 17,672
Non-mortal Woundings 103,284
Living Veterans 2,275,000
VIETNAM WAR (1964 - 1975)
Total Servicemembers (Worldwide) 8,744,000
Battle Deaths 47,434
Other Deaths (in Theater) 10,786
Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 32,000
Non-mortal Woundings 153,303
Living Veterans 7,391,000
GULF WAR (1990 - 1991)
Total Servicemembers (Worldwide) 2,322,000
Battle Deaths 148
Other Deaths (in Theater) 235
Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 1,565
Non-mortal Woundings 467
Living Veterans 2,244,583
GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR (2001 - PRESENT)
The Global War on Terror, including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom are ongoing conflicts. For the most recent statistics, please visit the Department of Defense Web site: http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/gwot_component.pdf
A student play: “Who is a Veteran?”
Introduction: The following is a presentation set in a school media center where fifth grade students have been sent to do a research project on Veterans and the Veterans Day holiday.
Setting: Table in Media Center
Student 1: Hey, did you bring your markers and paper?
Student 2: Yes. I have everything we’ll need for our pictures and drawings.
Student 1: What are we going to draw?
Student 2: Silly! You know we’re here to research Veterans and the Veterans Day Holiday on November 11th.
Student 3: How do I draw a Veteran? I don’t even know what it is.
Student 4: A Veteran is a “who” and not a “what.” You’d better start by going to the dictionary and looking up the definition of a “Veteran.”
Student 3: What do you mean a Veteran is a who?
Student 1: Go look it up! We can use the definition in our project!
Student 3: Is a Veteran a person?
Student 2: Go look it up in the dictionary!
Student 3: All right! All right! (Student 3 pages through dictionary.) Here it is, “A Veteran is a person who has served in the armed forces, an experienced soldier, especially one who served in time of war.” and, “Veterans Day is a legal holiday in the United States honoring all Veterans of the armed forces.”
Student 1: See, a Veteran isn’t a “what,” it’s a person who died for our country. They’re the ones that get flags put on their graves on holidays.
Student 4: No! No! No! A Veteran isn’t always someone who died in a war, or who even fought in a war at all.
Student 3: She’s right. A Veteran is a man who has served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force.
Student 4: Well, you’re half right.
Student 2: What do you mean I’m “half right”?
Student 4: Well, women can be Veterans too. Many women have served our country in the Armed Forces in times of peace and in times of war. Women can be Veterans too.
Student 3: You mean a Veteran doesn’t have to have been in a war?
Student 1: No. Just having been in the Armed Forces makes a person a Veteran.
Student 2: Wow! Veterans are really special people aren’t they? I mean, if a person is in the Armed Forces and we have a war, then they have to go. Right?
Student 4: No, not really. Veterans are people who have already served, but are no longer in the Armed Forces of our country. My grandfather is a Veteran. He was in the Korean War, and my uncle Jake is a Veteran too because he was in the Navy.
Student 3: You know, Veterans really are special people and they deserve to be honored with a holiday.
Student 1: There are a lot of patriotic songs that honor Veterans and our country. Maybe we could include a song with our project.
Student 2: I think there’s a song book over here that has all the words to patriotic songs.
Student 4: Great! Let’s pick out one that everybody can sing along with.
Student 3: Veterans Day would be a good time to remember and to thank Veterans for all they have done for us and for our country.
Finale: A patriotic song, such as The National Anthem, God Bless America, America the Beautiful, or God Bless the U.S.A., is performed by the actors or an assembled group of students. The rest of the students also may be encouraged to sing along.
Special Thanks to:
Ms. Maggi Call, a Title 1 teacher at Dunleith Elementary School,
Marietta City Schools, Marietta, Georgia, for writing this play!
The Veterans Day Teachers Resource Guide is published
in honor of U.S. Veterans by the
VETERANS DAY NATIONAL COMMITTEE
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of National Programs and Special Events (002C)
810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20420
(Revised September 2012)