Unfortunately, COVID-19 shall prevent our traditional November 11th community gathering at Outwater Park to honor America's veterans. This also would have been the 30th year of our nationally-recognized educational initiative of Lockport students reciting war poetry during the ceremony. Thus, I am proposing a safe and viable option, which would still allow Lockport's children to honor veterans but in a different and safer way. Most importantly our veterans will still know their sacrifices are appreciated!

This would be an at-home activity, during which parents could assist each of their children, in kindergarten through grade 12, to create an appropriate thank you "card" for distribution to veterans in our area.

Since most families have lots of crayons, markers, and drawing paper on hand, this should provide a worthwhile family activity as well as an opportunity to discuss their own family members who served our nation.

Drop boxes would be provided for families to deliver their cards to either the VFW Post, the Navy-Marine Club, the Elks Lodge or Lockport Town Hall.

Cards will then be distributed to veterans by volunteers from the Barge Canal Optimist Club. Recipients shall also include those in nursing homes. If any cards remain, they will be taken to the VA Clinic on Snyder Drive.

Local churches are also encouraged to engage their Sunday School students in creating cards for veterans, and see to it that vets in their own congregation each receive one.

The most important thing is that our veterans are honored!

Cards should be dropped off to the various drop boxes outside of each of the designated locations on or before Monday, October 28th.

We sincerely hope that every child in Lockport will "create a "thank you card" to let our veterans know their service to our nation is deeply appreciated.

Renee A. Knight is chair of the Partnership in Patriotism Coalition, whose members include B. Leo Dolan Post 410 American Legion, Barge Canal Optimist Club, the City of Lockport, Lockport City School District, the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, the Town of Lockport and Lodge #41 Benevolent & Protective Order of the Elks.

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