Last Thursday, Veterans Day, I (along with other parents) had the pleasure of driving my son’s eighth grade class to a small gathering of Jewish War Veterans. We met by the dough boy (see bottom photo) in Highland Park, New Jersey, one half hour before the official Veterans Day Parade. According to my son, the way this got started was one year the teacher who organized the meeting saw some veterans saying kaddish (prayer for the dead) without a minyan (ten men). So she asked the school if she could arrange to bring the eighth grade boys. In the photo above, Rabbi Shostack of RPRY (far left) is talking with the students and the veterans. The 90 year old veteran on the right invited the boys to join them at a special prayer service the next day in Menlo Park. I kept thinking, but the boys have school the next day.
The veterans shared tales from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. My friend David on the left (a father of one of the boys) recorded their talks. One told how he became a medic with only a high school education. Rabbi Poleyoff, who is a retired teacher from RPRY, talked about his service in Japan immediately after the Korean War.
This *is* a Ruby Tuesday post, so here’s a red veterans’ car!
These older women wore bright red uniforms. I didn’t get a chance to hear their story. They are standing in front of the Highland Park Doughboy (What’s a Doughboy?).
17 thoughts on “Veterans Day Gathering”
What a special thing for the boys (and girls too I hope, if it’s a coed school) to be able to participate in something like that and to hear the veterans stories first-hand. I’m sure it was a day they’ll remember for quite a long time.
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“and girls too I hope” I would hope so, too, but I’m afraid that the girls were NOT invited. Not my choice. At all.
What better way to learn about history than to here them from the veterans. Great post!
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i hope these boys leaned something or two from the war stories. as a child, i was fascinated by WW II stories told by my grandfather. love the red car.:p
My son and his friends were thrilled to miss a few hours of school. I said to my son, later, weren’t you happy that you made a few veterans smile? He said, I guess so. I don’t think they understand how the attention they gave to the veterans meant so much to them. One rather quiet one thanked me as we left. I should be thanking him!
I posted one to-day from my country as well. God Bless you and your Nation on the remembered of your fallen
we went to small town Derby CT for the Veterans Day memorial. The youngest of children are not often taught about the sacrifices made by soldiers, sailers, marines and airmen. So we can live in a free country. To remember is great, and I would hope that the kids learned from the soldiers and Rabbi. A wonderful post!
One of the rabbis was a veteran! So he was a natural teacher.
Thank you for all the explanations. I wonder what the women did. In our area some American women were quite helpful during WW1.
I learned that Edith Wharton was especially helpful during WWI. It seems she made France her adopted home. I read a wonderful biography about her recently.
It’s an honor to pay respect to the veterans for the sacrifices they did..
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A good civic and history lesson for the kids.
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Wonderful post about what must have been an interesting day for the boys .
It is always best to learn history firsthand from those who lived through it.
Too bad the girls weren’t part of it. Next year!
Or that is just great. Learning about the Wars might not be that interesting to them now, But, some day they will cherish it.
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it’s wonderful that the younger ones get to talk to the older heroes
I imagine it lifts the spirits of all involved
I love the intent looks on the boys’ faces
“I love the intent looks on the boys’ faces” – I am wondering if they hear anything that is being said! I hope so.
What a great initiative!