The Spanish Fork Legion Post 68 organized the Sixth Annual Freedom Walk for Spanish Fork and Salem fifth-grade students on May 8 and 9, 2023. Members from various branches of the military came and told stories to almost 1,350 fifth-grade students from13 schools over the past two days.
Spanish Oaks Principal, Ryan Murray, said, “What an incredible experience the Freedom Walk is for these young students to rub shoulders with and be taught by true American heroes!”
Nebo fifth-grade students prepared in advance of the Freedom Walk by researching veterans and writing summaries of what they learned. Banners from each of the schools lined the walking path displaying the students’ summaries and creating a Wall of Honor. Many of these summaries were the students’ own family members.
Park Principal, Jessica Lindley, said, “The Freedom Walk is giving our youth the opportunity to learn, research, and gain an understanding and appreciation for the freedoms that we have. The best part of this experience is being connected with the veterans in our community. We are grateful that our students get to learn from the best people of what freedom really is and the sacrifices they have made in order to live in a free country.”
The Freedom Walk was first conceived by Legion member, Richard Johnson, as a way to help students have a better understanding and appreciation for military veterans. The new name of this Freedom Walk is now called the Dr. Richard Johnson Memorial Freedom Walk in his honor. This “walk” is unlike any other event organized by the Legion according to the veterans.
Principal of Rees Elementary, Adam Gull, said, “I have been involved with the Freedom Walk for several years now, and every year I am amazed with our fifth-graders in Nebo School District and our American Legion Veterans. The wonderful thing I recognized this year is the interaction between the youth and our wise Veterans. Our society needs events like this to bind communities, and people young and old together. This is a way to gain understanding of our world, to learn compassion, and most importantly, gain appreciation and gratitude for the country we live in. Thank you to the men and women that have made freedom possible today and in the past.”
All students and teachers walked symbolically in the shoes of the veteran they interviewed or researched. Along the walk were six stations where Legion members would present, show items, and tell stories from their service.
Congratulations to Lisa Thomas for answering this week’s “Where are we Wednesday?” sponsored by Wiggy Wash.
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