Fassett Elementary first-graders take a field trip to the Vietnam Veterans War Museum

Veterans Voices

ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – One local first-grade teacher wanted his students to really understand who our veterans are and why they are so vital to this country.

“I get a little emotional when I talk about it because I feel like the kids need to know about the veterans. But they also need to know that there are so many people in our community that are veterans and they don’t even know it,” said John Liquori, Fassett Elementary First Grade Teacher.

John Liquori organized a service-learning project that took his students to the Vietnam Veterans War Museum and John W. Jones Museum in Elmira. This field trip meant a lot to Liquori, as his dad was one of the original founding members and a Vietnam War veteran.

“This is something that is personal to me as in my dad was part of the group of people who founded that museum and I know that that was a big part of his life,” said Liquori. “His service and his association with the museum and the honor guard was always something that he was very proud of.”

This field trip was able to hone in on the first-grade curriculum while also giving back to the community.

“I really wanted to give back to the veteran’s organizations in the area…In addition, in the first-grade curriculum, the social studies standards really focus on people in our community, they focus on learning the American flag, the pledge of allegiance…” said Liquori.

Veterans had a chance to speak to the first graders about the federal holiday, what a veteran is, and Chemung County Vietnam War veterans, specifically.

“Every child from that age group… should be well aware of what a veteran is, why he’s a veteran, what he did to become a veteran, and the sacrifices he made for the country and his family,” said Larry Sherman, Vietnam Veterans Museum Chapter President, and Vietnam War Veteran.

Sherman also mentioned that a lot of kids don’t understand the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The difference is that we honor fallen veterans on Memorial Day, and we honor all veterans on Veterans Day.

The Chemung County Youth Bureau thought this field trip was such a great idea, they donated books to all the Fassett Elementary first graders. Each student brought home “Veterans Heroes In Our Neighborhood” by Valerie Pfundstein, a children’s book about Veterans in the community.

Courtesy: Facebook @VeteransHeroes “Veterans Heroes In Our Neighborhood” by Valerie Pfundstein

“That’s a pretty sizeable donation and it’s something that I really appreciate… I know all the other teachers do and something I know the kids will appreciate once they get the books,” said Liquori.

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