by Becky GINOS
LAYTON—The fifth graders at Layton Elementary experienced history first hand last week as they walked to the new Vietnam Memorial Wall replica in Layton Commons Park to search for names of fallen soldiers they have been researching.
“I’ve had them focus on understanding that people died to make this a better place,” said fifth-grade teacher Liz Sullenger. “We have families who serve in the military. The wall is so cool in Washington, D.C. It makes my heart happy to see the kids experience it here. We’re lucky to have it in our back yard.”
Children were assigned to find a soldier who had died in the war and learn something about them. “It makes them invested in this,” she said.
“The most fun was finding the name,” said student Jake Larsen. “I looked up Garland, Utah because that’s where my grandma lived and it happened to be someone she knew. I’ve learned soldiers are very important and were very brave and courageous to fight for us.”
The children gathered in front of the wall to sing a song thanking the military.
David Griffith, a grandfather to one of the students came along with the classes. He is a Vietnam veteran. “It’s hard to see the wall,” he said. “I was there and I picked a lot of them (soldiers who died) up. When we came back we were spit on, cursed at and beat up so we stayed away from other people. It wasn’t an easy thing. This is a good project.”