Minden's second and third grade students said thank you to veterans in the community by inviting them to dine at J.L. Jones Elementary as they celebrated Veterans Day.
"We decided to recognize the veterans in our community with a thank you for their service," said Tina Wilkins, who is the chairperson for the Veterans Day festivities.
Students in third grade dinned with their veteran guest last Friday while second graders ate Monday with those they invited.
"We want the community veterans to know how much we appreciate their service, their sacrifice," Wilkins said. "So many young people in our community know about Christmas, about Halloween, and we have Veterans Day squished in between them. To me, it should be recognized much more than it is in this country."
A school-wide coloring contest was held to help students understand the importance of the nation's veterans.
"It is something that is so simple, and so important, that we can do," said Wilkins. "Kids should be more aware of what is going on. We wouldn't be here, these kids wouldn't be in school together, if it were not for the sacrifices our veterans have made.
"It gives me chills thinking about it," she continued. "The things our children enjoy and often take for granted, other countries don't have that, and that is because they don't have the type of veterans we do."
This was Jones Elementary's first year organizing Veterans Day celebration since Minden schools were consolidated in 2011.
"It is my hope that we continue to honor our veterans and remember Veterans Day annually at school," Wilkins said.
Jones' Principal Dusty Rowland said she is proud of Wilkins's efforts and of the students.
"She did a great job and student participation and behavior had been great," Rowland said. "At our campus, it is difficult to fit everyone in second and third grade into the cafeteria, so doing a big program is almost not an option, especially without losing a lot of academic time."
Rowland said she enjoyed seeing students and veterans break bread together.
"That time together, one on one, is more personal," she said. "It is a big deal, what our veterans do for our country, and so we want to try and do something special to honor them."