Wednesday, November 11, 1998

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Leon Moore’s fifth-grade class at Hickam Elementary School
makes paper flowers for various veterans associations.

Isle children
offer tributes
to veterans

They send paper cranes, letters
and e-mail to thank those who
'fought for our freedom'

By Gregg K. Kakesako


To Hickam Elementary School fifth-grader Jamie O'Brien, a veteran is "someone who fights in a war or fights for our country."

Her schoolmate, Lauren Thomasson, describes a veteran as "someone who served in the war and our military and fought for our country and our freedom."

And Emily Hughes and the rest of teacher Leon Moore's fifth-grade class plan to show their support for the country's veterans and overseas service members with paper cranes and flowers, and e-mail messages of gratitude.

For this Veterans Day, other schoolchildren planned similar tributes.

Twenty-five veterans at Tripler Army Medical Center will receive letters written by members of Carole Ichiwama's special-education class at Waiau Elementary School in Pearl City.

Ichiwama, whose students range from kindergarten to sixth grade, said her students decided to write letters to veterans thanking them for their service to the United States.

At Hickam, where all of the students are military dependents, fifth-grade teacher Moore has incorporated the letter-writing campaign into his social studies and American history curriculum for the past two years.

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Rosie Marciel puts flowers this morning on the grave of
her husband, Clement Marciel, at the National Memorial
Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.

"A lot of the kids want to interview veterans," Moore said. "They want them to come to the school and talk about their experiences in World War II."

"Others want to learn why the Japanese were interned during the war, and they are especially interested to learn more about the 442nd (Regimental Combat Team)."

The school this year was asked by Hickam's public affairs office if it was interested in participating in Abigail Van Buren's annual campaign to send cards and letters to service members stationed overseas during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Moore's class was the first to rise to the occasion.

All 23 of Moore's fifth-graders yesterday were busy hand-copying a "Dear veteran, soldier, sailor, airman or Marine" letter or making paper flowers or paper cranes.

Eventually, the entire 1,000-member student body at Hickam will be involved in the letter-writing campaign. The Military Postal Service Agency will collect the letters from Hickam and anyone else, and distribute them to five major areas in the world through Jan. 15.

"The kids really get excited," Moore said, "because it involves their parents and it's a real hands-on thing they can do.

"With each of our letters, we will attach a paper crane symbolizing good luck."

One of the new things Moore is trying this year is sending the greetings via e-mail.

Yesterday, Lauren Thomasson was busy searching the Web for veteran, military and similar sites where she plans to leave a message of gratitude.

Despite having a mother in the Air Force -- Maj. Mary Thomasson -- Lauren is quite sure she doesn't see the military as a career option.

"It's just too hard," she said. "I don't like to be involved in all those guns and bombs."

Instead, Lauren said she would rather pursue a career in law.

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Students Kristina Naccarato, left, and Kaeli Kessler
write letters to servicemembers overseas.

Letters to those in service

The Military Postal Service Agency has identified five addresses for the national holiday letter-writing campaign this year.

The campaign -- Operation Dear Abby -- was initiated by columnist Abigail Van Buren 14 years ago.

The addresses will be open only until Jan. 15. Mail is limited to first class, 11 ounces or less. Letters will be distributed to service members stationed overseas.

For Europe and South West Asia address letters to:
Bullet America Remembers
Operation Dear Abby
APO AE 09135

For Mediterranean Basin:
Bullet America Remembers
Operation Dear Abby
FPO AE 09646

For South, Central American and the Caribbean Basin:
Bullet America Remembers
Operation Dear Abby
APO AA 34085

For the Far East:
Bullet America Remembers
Operation Dear Abby
APO AP 96285

For the Pacific Basin:
Bullet America Remembers
Operation Dear Abby
FPO AP 96385

E-mail to City Desk

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