Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lest We Forget: Veteran's Keepsakes

  Last night the Friends of the Key Center Library sponsored another CraftWithAnna class: Veteran's Keepsakes. All anyone had to do was stop by with a photo or a story to share and I brought all kinds of crafty goodies for participants to create with.
We even had special guest stop by, a member of our local Key Peninsula Veteran's Association that I'd met earlier in the day at Evergreen Elementary's assembly. He and our Storytime librarian, Carol, shared that although they did not fight over seas during their service years, they were still honored that the youth was showing their appreciation for the sacrifice of time away from their family. A lot of times the glorified versions of Hollywood war times don't match up to the real life experience of estrangement from loved ones, the fear of the unknown, and of course that drill sergeant barking orders at you. Ok, maybe that last one the movies usually DO do a pretty good job of showing.  I made sure to give the layout I had made to our librarian at the end of the night; I was so touched by her sentiments, and it's always interesting to find out something new about a person you spend a lot of time around.
As usual, my students for the evening showed me a thing or two as they made their tributes. We talked about what service to our country means, and I think I made a good point when I mentioned, how much can change in a person's life in just four years. How many moments with our family we would miss out on if we didn't live with them, or maybe lived nearby but not close enough to come home every night. We talked about how the families left behind make sacrifices for our country too. Moms and Dads alike take care of families while the other parent works over seas for undetermined amounts of time.
Another point I made is that, sometimes Veteran's don't want to talk about their experience. What a treasure their words are when they choose to share them, and how, as the recipients of that knowledge, we should honor them by not forgetting their stories and the lessons they contain. We talked about how those stories are actually part of our family's legends and history. And how we can document that history in all sorts of ways! But, that just like a soldier returning home may have a hard time "putting it all out there," we may have a hard time expressing what it really means to us that they did all that they did in the name of God, Honor, and Country.

Enter one of my favorite techniques: hidden journaling!  Using an old greeting card with a ship on the cover was an excellent place to write a note to grandpa in appreciation for his time in the Navy. This wall hanging features anchor print paper, gold chevron washi tape (donated by Queen & Co.) and Amy Tangerine thickers that spell out Grandpa. What a neat way to show some love!

Thank you to all the families who made their way to the library and stopped to CraftWithAnna! Our next event will be Saturday, December 19th from 2-4pm; I'll bring everything we need to make some awesome Holiday Greeters. Could be a card, could be a wine bottle topper- it's up to your imagination :-)
To my friends and family who have served for us all, thank you for your time and dedication. And if you have any pic of yourself in uniform, I'd love to scrap 'em! Happy Veteran's day.

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