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Students Reflect on the True Meaning of Memorial Day

May 25, 2017

During a May Kiwanis Club of Mariemont meeting, the writers of the winning 2017 Memorial Day essays read their written works of art. All of the winners are currently in 6th grade and all of the winners were offered the opportunity to read their essays during the Memorial Day ceremonies in the school district community.

"I love hearing the perspective of kids and today we have the opportunity to hear kids' perspectives on Memorial Day. I wish I would have had the opportunity they have had to reflect on Memorial Day and come to an understanding of what the day is truly about," said Todd Keyes, Kiwanis member. "I am thrilled the students have the chance to write and learn about Memorial Day and other aspects of our military, about what it takes to protect our country and give us our freedom."

The essay winners are Laney Riportella from Terrace Park Elementary, and Ty Zinke and Veronica Drake from Mariemont Elementary. Timmy Ackerman, from Mariemont Elementary, was named runner up.

"What struck me is that not only are our 6th graders learning about the true meaning and importance of Memorial Day, but this whole process and contest has educated our community over the years," said Linda Lee, principal at Terrace Park Elementary. "There’s the academic piece of learning the facts, but the students also take the time to make a personal connection with someone they’ve researched or someone in their family who has served or currently serves in our military – that’s when we truly understand the importance of this day, when we make that personal connection."

The essays focus on the bravery of all of those that have protected or currently protect our country, the sacrifices people have made for freedom and other patriotic anecdotes and historical facts, including the celebrations of and reflections on the life and impact of a soldier or veteran.

If you would like to hear the essays read aloud or would like to participate in the Memorial Day parades, everyone is welcome to attend. The Mariemont parade starts at 8:30am in the Mariemont Parish Center parking; the Terrace Park parade starts at 10am in the elementary school parking lot; and the Fairfax celebration starts at 11am in front of the police station on Hawthorne Avenue.

Click here to read Laney Riportella's essay.
Click here to read Ty Zinke's essay.
Click here to read Veronica Drake's essay.
Click here to read Timmy Ackerman's essay.

Congratulations to all of the essay winners!