Third Graders Honor Veterans

Third Graders Honor Veterans

Woodward Academy was founded as Georgia Military Academy, a military boarding school for boys, in 1900. Every year on Veterans Day, the school honors its history, along with alumni and faculty and staff who served in the military, with a special ceremony. This year, we can’t gather in person, but we found new ways to continue our traditions.

On Veterans Day, the Honor Guard conducted a wreath-laying ceremony in Memorial Plaza. Carey Brown, the father of Army 1st Lt. Tyler H. Brown ’96, who died in Iraq in 2004, attended the ceremony. Lt. Brown’s name is the most recently inscribed on monuments honoring the sacrifices of 117 alumni who lost their lives in service. Dan Cathy ’71, chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, played taps during the ceremony. 

Later that day, students were presented with a videotaped address by Maj. Gen. James Livingston, USMC (Ret.), the only living Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from Georgia. 

At the Primary School, the third grade worked during the weeks before Veterans Day to create a Wall of Honor. Beyond the Gate spoke to third grade teacher Peggy Hardy about the discoveries made while teaching some of Woodward’s youngest about Veterans Day.

Beyond the Gate: Tell us more about the Wall of Honor project.

Peggy Hardy: Students brought in a picture of a veteran who has served or is currently serving in our military. The veteran could be a family member or a family friend who served in any branch during any time period. Students were asked to bring in their photo, write a few sentences about their veteran, and share them with the class. The teachers then created a bulletin board with all of the projects. Our bulletin boards represent a Wall of Honor down our hallway to symbolize our respect for all veterans. We also read the book, “The Wall” by Eve Bunting which is a story of a young boy and his father visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 

BTG: What did third graders learn from the project?

PH: Students learned that a veteran is someone who has served in the military and that veterans are everywhere in our community. Many students learned that they have family members who are veterans! We discussed the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. They also learned that Veterans Day is how we honor those who have served in wartime and during peacetime.

BTG: Did teachers learn new things from this project?

PH: I learn something new every year from this project by listening to the stories my student’s bring in with their projects. My father and both of my grandfathers were veterans. Teaching about veterans and Veterans Day is always a special time for me because I enjoy sharing my family stories and pictures with my students. 

BTG: Are there any other ways teachers are bringing Veterans Day to life for students?

PH: To conclude our Veterans Day activities, we wrote letters to thank our veterans for their service.