Students send valentines to Missouri Veterans Home

Sunday, February 3, 2013
Christian Evans and Paige Barber, fifth-grade students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, work on their valentines which will be sent to veterans at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau. The project is part of Catholic Schools Week. (Jill Bock ~ Standard-Democrat)

Standard Democrat ~ SIKESTON -- From red sparkly boots to bluejeans and white shirts, students at Sikeston's St. Francis Xavier dressed to salute America Wednesday.

They saved their biggest salute, however, for the nation's veterans. Each student created a handmade valentine which will go to one of the residents of the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau.

Fifth-grade teacher Susan Werner explained as part of Catholic Schools Week, Wednesday was "Nations Day." With Valentine's Day coming up, the school decided to combine the two.

"What better place to send them to than the veterans home," Werner said about the valentines.

Eleven-year-old Jacob Lovell agreed. "I think that it is nice for us to tell them happy Valentine's Day because they did serve time in the Army and fought in the war," he said.

For his valentine, Jacob said he put a "whole bunch" of hearts on it, wrote thank you, then, to top it off, added a smiley face.

Selena Priggel, 11-1/2, was wearing a T-shirt she decorated with fabric markers just for Wednesday. On the back it offered a salute to veterans.

Explaining she likes to be crafty, she described her card as having a pop-out heart and a flag inside.

"I wrote thank you for serving our country," she said. She said thanking the veterans is important.

"They don't have to serve their country or risk their lives for us to have freedom," Selena said. "I think it was really sweet of them to do that."

In all the school will send some 150 valentines to the Missouri Veterans Home. Concluding Wednesday's activities was a patriotic rosary, said St. Francis Xavier principal Debbie Pollock. During the service, the students prayed for all veterans who have served their country.

The Catholic Schools Week activities will continue with students dressing up as their favorite saints on Thursday while Friday, the students will compete with the staff in a volleyball game.

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