DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a lesson about the true meaning of Memorial Day weekend that students at Derby Middle School won’t soon forget.
“They’re fallen soldiers and we don’t know who they are so to be able to honor them and it’s such a big opportunity I just think it’s amazing,“ said Brennan Fitch, a Derby Middle School student.
Brennan and another classmate recently had the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery while other classmates looked on.
The magnitude of the moment brought one of those classmates to tears.
“Thank you for serving our country,“ said Leah Ludington, while getting emotional. “There’s a lot of things that you guys had to go through.“
That emotion is what also made teachers proud.
“I’m proud of our kids,“ said Kelly Anroman, a Derby Middle School teacher who helped to organize the trip. “They represented our school and the community of Derby so well.“
Brennan said he was nervous, but also proud.
“Anybody would want to be able to have an opportunity to feel like they’re doing something for somebody who died for you,“ he said. “It was amazing.“
Two Derby Middle School teachers, who are also veterans, got a chance to walk with the students as part of the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Educators at Derby Middle School say this experience taught students the true meaning of Memorial Day and the importance of patriotism, pride, service, and sacrifice.
“I believe it’s important for the kids to have firsthand knowledge of our history, not just read it from books in a classroom,“ Anroman said.