Though they are distance learning, the coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop Mountainview Elementary School students from honoring the men and women in their community who have served this Veterans Day.
On Tuesday, fifth grade teacher Katie Labrador delivered dozens of handmade cards, filled with hand-drawn pictures and “thank you” messages for veterans and their families, to members of the Harry Bell Foundation, Elks Lodge No. 2379 and Rotary Club of Santa Clarita.
“We’ve been doing lessons the last week and a half, showing (students) videos that go over from Scholastic News what veterans are and Veterans Day is,” Labrador said. “Then, we send out templates and have them do cards.”
Students in grades kindergarten through sixth, along with those in Mountainview’s special day program, then got to work, creating personalized cards to share with their local veteran community.
“A lot of them were really creative,” Labrador added. “This one made theirs with coffee filters, and they were all very clever (like that).”
For Labrador, whose grandfather was in the Navy, this is a way for her to carry out his wish, which was for her to make sure kids continue thanking veterans, and it’s that sentiment that the three veterans receiving the donation agreed is what matters most to them.
“With all the strife going on, when a veteran gets that (card), that means a lot,” said Ed Austin, a Marine Corps and Vietnam veteran.
Jim Lentini, an Army and Korean war veteran, agreed, adding, “I think it shows them a recognition of our veterans, and what they do for our country and our protection and freedom.”
It’s especially important to Austin and Sue Endress, an Army reserve and Vietnam veteran, as in their era, when soldiers came back, nobody cared, Endress said.
“It was really, really sad, so for us it’s important that these guys are not forgotten,” she added. “It just shows that they care, that somebody cares.”
Since then, these three local veterans agree that things have begun to change for the better, as shown through the thank-you cards.
“I think there’s a better awareness now than there was in the ’60’s or ’70s, and (people) are starting to have a more patriotic attitude now,” Lentini added.