Some Upset About Classes on Memorial Day

Fewer children than usual were able to attend today's service.
Fewer children than usual were able to attend today's service.

They're remembering our nation's fallen heroes in ceremonies all over the area, but for students in Chatham County, it was a day spent at school to make up for a day they missed last year during elections. We spoke with some veterans at Bonaventure Cemetery who felt that it was a day not well spent for the students.

They said there's no excuse for students to be in class today, and felt the board of education could have chosen another day for the students to make up.

They came from each branch of the military and were laid to rest here in a tiny memorial cemetery at Bonaventure, where the fallen were honored today.

"Too many of our citizens forgot the sacrifices that have been made by our military to protect and give us this freedom," said Chatham County Commission chairman Pete Liakakis.

These veterans were also being honored by the people in attendance, but the one group not present to mark this important day was students of Chatham County Schools.

"I think it's ridiculous," parent Jim Tait said. "I'm looking around here and there are only a handful of kids. Fortunately I was able to bring my kids out to help them learn a little bit more what the folks in the armed services are doing for us and have done, lay their lives down to give them a home and a comfortable place."

With the laying of a wreath along with a 21-gun salute, many veterans feel the impact of experiencing a ceremony like this, is what many students are missing out on.

"They won't know anything about Memorial Day, you've got to have it mouth to mouth and you can't very well bring them out here because they're in school," said Harry Deal of American Legion Post 184.

With so many Chatham County students with parents and loved ones in the military, many people at today's service say keeping them in class on this day is inappropriate.

"To me the school system had an extra day on Wednesday instead of today and have respect, especially in Savannah where we have a lot of soldiers at Fort Stewart, Hunter and the Coast Guard," said Tait.

Even though students in Chatham County don't normally have class on this day, many veterans hope something like this doesn't have to happen again.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com