Local veterans educate students - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Local veterans educate students

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In an effort to educate young students on the importance of Memorial Day, six veterans organizations in Chicopee visited 14 area schools throughout Friday.

The vets met with students and held ceremonies at each school.

Three Korean War veterans visited Stefanik School, talking to students about their time serving.

"They look to know about things about the wars that we have fought in and I think they're very eager to learn," Korean War veteran Rip Reopel said.

The vets want kids to know the holiday isn't just the unofficial start of summer.

"It's a day of remembrance. Remembrance of our veterans who have never came home and are buried in foreign lands," Reopel continued.

Charles Kovitch, a World War II veteran had some advice for students at the Joan of Arc School.

"Do your lessons. Listen to your teacher. Be good Americans. Freedom was not given to us. We fought for it," Kovitch said.

Kovitch and his fellow veterans said they enjoy getting out in the community to meet students and share their stories.

"We give high fives. I really love meeting them and talking to them," Kovitch said.

Veterans and Chicopee city officials met at city hall later in the day to declare the city a Purple Heart community.

Purple Heart recipient, Leo David Agnew said although these veterans may not be serving in combat, they are still serving their communities.

"It's not who we are. It's what we do for all veterans and their families. It's not just Purple Heart recipients. We help all veterans and their families in need," Agnew said.

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