You can also click on this link to view the video below
SEP.13, 2022—Some students at the Palmyra-Macedon Middle School made the days of a whole bunch of veterans who have served our country, and they did it one card at a time.
Over the weekend, all 50+ veterans taking part in the “Honor Flight” program received hand-drawn and typed up greeting cards from the students as part of their “Mail Call” routine.
Honor Flight Rochester is a non-profit organization that provides veterans with a "trip of a lifetime" to Washington D.C. The veterans visit memorial sites of the respective wars they fought on.
The cards were worked on by students in Mrs. Sousa, and Mr. and Mrs. Hoven’s classes over the course of the first few days of class. Each card featured some “get know me” info about each student, and included questions for the veterans. The students also thanked the group for their service.
The veterans were on the plane headed to D.C. on Saturday when they received the cards.
Vietnam War Veteran Rick Bjornholm was so touched, he wrote this message:
“I am sure that none of the students or even Ms. Sousa have any idea the effect those letters had on each veteran,” Bjornholm said. “ Many tears were shed that morning – but tears of joy.”
In a statement, Honor Flight Rochester School Liaison Toni Stevens-Oliver liaison said in part:
“Veterans often share with us how special it is to receive these letters. They love knowing that today's school students care about them. HFR is grateful to the students of Palmyra-Macedon who took the time to write letters for the veterans of Mission 73.”
The story doesn’t stop there, as students not only took the time to write the letters, they made sure to be there when the veterans returned home.
Students were standing in the concourse at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport on Sunday. The day marked “Patriots Day”, which remembers the people killed 21 years ago during the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Each student waved an American flag, or held on to a sign, and cheered on the line of veterans, who were accompanied by a marching band.
The welcome was the first in-person visit for Pal-Mac students since 2019. For the past few years,students have only sent letters.
One veteran stepped up to the line of students, and shared a thank you back to them for being there, and writing the letters.
“You take time to write, I take time to answer,” he said.
Afterwards, students were able to take pictures and chat with their pen pals. We spoke to Ameilia, a seventh grader, whose letter inspired Bjornholm to write to the District.
“It made me feel really nice because it makes me feel happy to make someone feel good,” she said.
Ameilia said the event was even more special because she has a family member who served in the Army.
From here, some students could expect letters back from the veterans.
In his statement, Bjornholm said he plans to attend the District's Veterans Day event on Thursday, Nov.11.
For more Pal-Mac Gives Back stories, check out our page here.
*Thank you to Mrs. Sousa for pictures and video*