Veterans in Stamford, Connecticut are speaking out against a public school proposal to hold classes on Memorial Day this year.
Superintendent of Schools Earl Kim presented the idea to the Board of Education as one option to make up for school days lost due to snow-related closures, according to The Stamford Advocate.
Classes can be held on holidays as allowed by state law but the day’s lessons must focus on the holiday.
“This presents the opportunity for us to provide a teachable moment for our students,” Lynn Rule, a Stamford parent and Parent-Teacher Council co-president, said. “We mean absolutely no disrespect to any families who have members who have lost their lives. But we’d rather take this time to honor them instead.”
Army veteran Archie Elam, who was a Stamford Board of Education member from 2004 to 2007, was not happy about the proposal which he said he heard about through word of mouth.
“It did not look like there was a deliberate outreach to anyone in the veterans community before it got in front of the board,” Elam, a state officer with the Connecticut Veterans of Foreign Wars said. “That’s a serious oversight.”
A veteran of the Cold and Gulf wars, and the first Iraq War, Elam has been by the side of families who have lost loved ones in wars and understand the meaning behind Memorial Day.
“It’s for the memories of those folks,” he said. “I’ve been face to face with the families. I’ve been side by side with these people…for these families who have lost folks, Memorial Day is not what a lot of other folks think.”
Army veteran and “Fox and Friends” host, Pete Hegseth, reacted to the report saying he wished more people would honor the day for what it means.
“Go to a barbecue, fine. But also go and remember. If you’re going to do a half-day, how about you do the other half as a huge ceremony at the school? There’s ways you can make it work,” he said.
Meanwhile, local veterans’ organizations in Stamford are reportedly going to be consulted before the Board of Education makes its decision.
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