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Aspen Community School students hear stories about veterans’ sacrifice, selflessness

Casey White
Special to The Aspen Times
Lt. Col. Dick Merritt and other local veterans met with students at Aspen Community School on Nov. 10, one day before Veterans Day. It was the 10th straight year the school has observed Veterans Day.
Courtesy Photo

Editor’s note: The following piece was written by Aspen Community School Principal Casey White for her blog on the school’s website. https://www.discovercompass.org/school/aspen-community-school/acs-principal-blog/

Aspen Community School celebrated Veterans Day with eight fine veterans and a room full of thoughtful students, teachers, and parents.

Our crowd spanned generations — from age 5 to 87 — yet we could not have been more unified. It was an honor to hear stories of military service marked by sacrifice, camaraderie, and the simple acts of kindness that carried these soldiers through.



Students presented what they cherish about our country, the freedoms they value, and what we can do to perpetuate peace through understanding. 

Students at Aspen Community School meeting with local veterans last week. | Courtesy photo
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This marked our 10th Veterans Day celebration at Aspen Community School. Traditions are a bit like spade work. Spade work is likened to working the soil when preparing to plant something. We worked the soil today by creating space to listen to one another.




Students listened, questioned, and recognized the commonalities between themselves and the brave individuals in front of them. Veterans heard the curiosity, awe, and everyday kindness of children.

Despite differences in age and experience, an understanding was planted: We need to care for one another, we need to seek to understand one another, to say thank you — often — and we need to do our jobs to the best of our ability. 

In recognition of last week’s Veterans Day, Aspen Community School students got to hear from people who have served in the U.S. military. | Courtesy photo
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The celebration closed with Caty Dalton and Max Hanks playing an original arrangement of the National Anthem on the violin and cello. Amazing!  Intimate classroom conversations followed.

Thank you to everyone that attended and a special thank you to our guests and friends: Lt. Col. Dick Merritt, Dan Glidden, Brian Porter, Dwayne Romero, Jim Korpela, Don Stuber and Alec Pieffer. A special thank you to Jim Gilchrist for starting this tradition.

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