MEMORIAL DAY: Paper chain projects link students to fallen soldiers

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Seventh graders in civics class at Electa Lee Magnet Middle School in Bradenton are using sheets of red, white and blue to honor servicemen and women who have lost their lives while serving our country.

  • 7th graders ask what the meaning or Memorial Day really is
  • Teacher has them make a paper chain with the names of fallen soldiers written on the links
  • After the project is complete, school is hoping local VFW will house the chain

“I feel like I’m being a part of something,” said Bipasha Shrestha, 13, “even though I’m not actually serving, I’m still honoring those people.”

For the past week, students have been writing down the names of lives lost, linking the words together in paper chains together.

Students said it’s a project they’re proud to be working on.

“It really meant a lot because my dad was a marine,” said Wesley Hamilton, 13. “This just helps us value their lives more. They did a lot for us and we need to acknowledge how great that is.”

Nearly 6,400 sheets of paper are now hanging up in the hallway of the school.

Each ring represents a military member who died since the students were born, somewhere between 12 and 13 years ago.

The students’ teacher, Jason Memmer, came up with the idea after students started asking him questions.

“It started off [as] a couple of kids asked the different between Memorial Day and Veterans Day was. We talked about how a lot of adults don’t even know the difference,” said Memmer.

He said the question led to an unforgettable lesson.

“Memorial Day celebrates and remembers the people who have actually fallen in combat and Veterans Day is for anyone who has served in the military for our country,” said Memmer.

It’s a federal holiday the students said now has new meaning to them.

The teacher is now looking for a final home for the paper chains and said he’s considering asking some local VFW’s to hang them up.

Bay News 9 – local-news

May 30, 2016 |

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