In honor of Veterans Day, students from Emma Wilson Elementary in Chico, Calif., sent letters to American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis that thank veterans for their service.
The letters were a way "to personally thank you for not just protecting our country but protecting our freedom so we can grow up to be healthy and happy!," wrote Stacy Pitsker, a first-grade teacher at Emma Wilson, in a letter to The American Legion. "I am a proud daughter of a Vietnam vet and I have always felt that Veterans Day is one of the most important holidays that we celebrate."
The American Legion received the following three letters:
- "Dear veteran, thank you for being brave and keeping us safe. Thank you for giving us freedom. Appreciate you!" – Zaid
- "Dear veteran, Thank you for risking your life for our freedom. I am Marilyn from Chico, California, and I go to Emma Wilson Elementary, 5th grade, Mrs. York's class. I honor you for all that you have done for us. We enjoy your general life, but you went through wars so thank you for your sacrifice." – Marilyn
- "Thank you for serving our country. We appreciate you. Thank you for saving our community. Thank you for fighting for us. You are the best! Thank you for helping! You matter to us! You make us proud. You doing everything for us! Happy Veterans Day!" – Elizabeth, third grade
On behalf of The American Legion's nearly 2 million members, Committee on Children & Youth Chairman Herbert J. Petit shared appreciation to the students at Emma Wilson Elementary.
"Thank you all for your support! That means a great deal to us veterans," Petit said. "Again, thank you! Your kindness and appreciation will always be remembered."
The Veterans Day letters are part of Emma Wilson Elementary's Bob Best Project, which is in honor of a World War II veteran who received a thank-you letter from a student and wanted to recognize the school with an ice cream social but passed away before having the opportunity to do so.
"I have learned that thanking a veteran is such a simple gesture," Pitsker wrote. "Veterans don't expect it, but are the most appreciative when receiving it! We truly cannot thank you enough for your sacrifices and service to our country!"