MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A group of high school students went all-in to recreate a one-third scale replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Middletown’s upcoming Memorial Day parade.
“It makes you feel good that you did something as important as thing,” said Lucas DeMatteo, a freshman at Vinal Technical High School.
Veterans from the Elks Club asked the students to build the replica of the Arlington National Cemetery memorial.
It’s a task the students took to heart, making sure to recreate everything from the wreaths to the artwork. Because the replica is made of purple foam, the students worked with the school’s art teacher to learn the painting techniques to create the marbled look. It’s a process that took three brushes to complete.
“One had one shade of gray,” said Emma Reynolds, a freshman. “One had another shade, and then one brush was kind of thicker and more like flowing and we used that to blend it out.”
The history teacher taught them the significance of the tomb. The school’s student IT group also created a website with photos of the project.
The students were faced with a question — what does the back of the tomb look like? It’s something that the visiting public never sees.
After researching, the students learned that there are three Greek figures there, representing peace, victory and valor.
The Elks Club is proud of the work.
“It’s beautiful,” said Bill Currlins with the Elks Club. “It’s far better than we ever expected.”
The students said they’ve learned the importance of the tomb through the project. Now, they hope others get the same experience.
“It can really educate younglings like what this is about and what it means to a lot of people,” said Gabriel Franceschi, a sophomore.