Local students acknowledge Veterans Day

By: Maria Allard | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published November 20, 2012

 Eisenhower kindergarten teacher Jennifer Kelley helps student Ronnie Parks make an American flag in class Nov. 12.

Eisenhower kindergarten teacher Jennifer Kelley helps student Ronnie Parks make an American flag in class Nov. 12.

Photos by David Schreiber

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FRASER/WARREN — A group of U.S. service members will soon receive a special delivery, courtesy of Jennifer Kelley’s Eisenhower Elementary School kindergarten students in Fraser Public Schools.

On Nov. 12, one day after Veterans Day, the students drew and colored their best wishes by making two “thank you” cards each to be sent to our troops through the website www.amillion thanks.org.

With their tiny handprints, they also carefully made American flags on poster board. They achieved this by dipping their palms in red paint to make the flag’s red and white stripes and their index fingers in blue paint to make the flag’s stars. Ronnie Parks made sure to use plenty of paint to perfect his flag.

“This looks fabulous,” Kelley told him.

“I was so happy we were doing the flags,” Parks said.

Before students donned their artists’ caps, Kelley spoke with them about the military in general.

“We talked about what their job is and how they protect us,” she said. “They understand the concept of them protecting us.”

The activity gave student Amber Samuel the opportunity to talk about her brother, a member of the military who she calls “A.” She had just visited him prior to last Monday and said that she misses him.

“He used to live in North Carolina. Now he lives in Alabama,” Samuel said. “He fights for our state.”

Many students proudly shared their pictures with Kelley.

“I wanted to make a rainbow because a rainbow is in the sky,” Jeremiah Williams said. “The sun came up with the rainbow, too.”

“I already made my other one,” Nevaeh Zatkoff said. “It had like a rainbow. It has clowns. It had a house. It had a sky. Now I’m writing another one.”

“I like making the flags,” Keturah King said. “I never made one before.”

“Did you color your hair blue in this one?” Kelley asked Rihanna Harper when checking out her card. “That’s so silly.”

Other Veterans Day events were celebrated at various local schools last Monday.

Macomb Community College staff and students gathered at Center Campus in Clinton Township and Warren’s South Campus to honor veterans. Several guest speakers addressed the crowd at South Campus, including U.S. Army Maj. Ryan O’Quinn, who has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We owe so much to our veterans. It is a debt we can never truly repay,” he said. “America rose to greatness on their shoulders. They very least we can do is thank them for all they have done for this country. God bless our veterans and God bless America.”

During his speech, the ground combat vehicle program integrator recited a few words from the American flag’s point of view he borrowed from the American Veterans Memorial website. 

“I stand for freedom. I have been to every battle since 1776,” O’Quinn said. “I can fly atop the greatest buildings in the world. I have been burned, torn and trampled in countries I have set free.”

O’Quinn is married to Coty (Butler) and they have three children: Cameron, Lauren and Collin.

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