J. Mason Tomlin Elementary School hosted a Veterans Day assembly on Nov. 6 that included members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first Black military pilots.
The airmen and other local vets – including from the Mantua VFW – spoke about their experiences and the importance of the veterans holiday.
“Our Veterans Day assembly was truly amazing,” the school posted on Facebook. “A big thank you to our local veterans for joining us and to the Tuskegee Airmen who also presented to our students. It was an honor and a blessing to have all of you at J. Mason Tomlin.
“It was a wonderful afternoon honoring these amazing Americans.”
Tomlin students were encouraged to wear the red, white and blue colors of the American flag for the event, organized by Chery Tunstall, a fifth grade teacher at the school and a U.S Air Force veteran.
“I proudly served in the U.S. Air Force as a physical therapist assistant for seven-and-a-half years,” she noted on her website. “I am proud to be an American and have learned a great sense of pride for myself and our country from my service.
“I was stationed in England as well as all over the United States,” she added. “I have also traveled to Wales, France, Germany and Scotland while stationed in England.”
The school hosted a luncheon after the assembly so students could interact with the veterans on a more personal level.
J. Mason Tomlin students were also expected to take part in the township’s Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 in front of the municipal building, where the school choir planned to sing patriotic anthems. Winners were to be announced in the Mantua Veterans Commission poster contest.
“It’s also important to expose our students to veterans, especially if they might be interested in serving themselves one day,” said Veterans Commission Chairman Joe Heitman.