District 163 Students Plan a Special Touch To Veteran’s Day

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– District 163 students will commemorate Veteran’s Day this year in a unique manner. All students will view a broadcast featuring interviews of World War II veterans that were conducted by students in the District’s fourth/fifth grade honors class last spring. During a Veteran’s Day ceremony in the District, the veterans will return and each will receive a DVD of their interview, according to Forest Trail teacher Karen Burns, who with honors class teacher Danielle Gladstone coordinated the World War II Veteran Project. 

Ranging in age from their mid-80s to early 90s, 10 veterans met with the students at Mohawk Intermediate Center to share reminiscences, photos, and stories of service spent in Europe, the South Pacific and the United States. One veteran, Peter Carmine, Superintendent Joyce Carmine’s father-in-law, spoke with his interviewer, Demetri Greening, via Skype from his home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Demetri wore his grandfather’s fatigues from the Vietnam War for the event.

Students asked the veterans about their assignments, interesting experiences, favorite memories and favorite meals. Students heard stories about the Battle of the Bulge, a bombing mission over Japan and lit-hearted times spent watching movies or USO entertainers. One veteran, Lonnie Hunter, celebrated his 91st birthday with the students during the luncheon that followed the interviews. Mr. Hunter told his interviewers that his World War II experience led him to learn some foreign languages. “I felt good when my service ended and I had made it back home,” he related.

John Malone, who served in the Army, was home on leave and visiting his sister in New York when the war ended with Japan. He and his sister went to Time Square to celebrate. “We couldn’t have been in a better place,” he said.

Connie Sanner, one of the interviewers, said she like the project. “I liked the fact that I was able to meet someone who was in the war and talk to him about it,” Connie said.

Dr. Herb Weismann said he liked the project, too. He remarked, “The day was enjoyable, and the students asked good questions. They pulled things out of me that I had not thought of for years.”