LAKEWOOD, Wash. (6/4/2012) - Students gathered to perform a
musical, sing jazz and wish a happy birthday to a very special
veteran. These students are no strangers to recognizing soldiers.
They know the history behind each note they sing.
Students at Tyee Park Elementary School, Lakewood, Wash., sing
"Happy Birthday" to retired Chief Petty Officer and Pearl Harbor
survivor, Donald R. Green on May 30, 2012 prior to the school's
spring concert. It was Green's 90th birthday and he was presented an
orange banner that displayed "Let's remember Pearl Harbor" which had
over 400 signatures from students and faculty members. Fourth- and
fifth-grade students performed a musical adaption of the Charles
Dicken's classic, "Oliver Twist." First-, second- and third-graders
performed in an upbeat jazz concert. Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Teresa
More than 100 veterans, parents and faculty members
gathered at Tyee Park Elementary School, Lakewood, Wash.,
May 30, at the annual spring concert where fourth- and
fifth-grade students performed the musical adaption of the
Charles Dickens classic, “Oliver Twist.” Following the
musical, students in first, second and third grades
performed an upbeat jazz concert involving scat,
improvisation, and 5-year-old “guest conductor” Yuri
Castillo directing the final swing tune of the day, “Start
your day with a song!”
Retired Chief Petty Officer,
Donald R. Green, who served on the USS Pyro during the
attacks on Pearl Harbor, was invited to attend the concert
on this special day.
At the beginning of the
concert, students at Tyee Park took a moment to recognize
Green and sing, “Happy Birthday.” They presented him with a
bright orange banner that said “Remember Pearl Harbor” which
had more than 400 signatures wishing him a Happy 90th
Tracey Lundquist, Tyee Park's music and
literature teacher, has afforded her students many
opportunities to visit service members and to witness
firsthand what it means to serve.
enthusiasm for music and literature is why this fine arts
teacher provides an exceptional learning experience for her
While reading with her kids about World War
ll, for example, she invited Pearl Harbor survivors and
Tuskegee airmen to talk to her students and brought history
“It is like we have torn out the pages of
history and wrapped them around the kids,” Lundquist said.
“Sometime youth gets in the way and these kids just don't
realize how fortunate they are to have the veterans walk
among us and share their stories.
“At 90, Don is
still full of zip and energy, added Lundquist. “I can always
count on him to share his history with my students and come
support our programs.”
Green says that it is very
important for student to be introduced to opportunities
within the military.
“I've been coming here for 12
years, said Green. “I have a story to tell.”
H. Brown, a fifth grader who performed during Oliver Twist,
has great respect for Green and was happy to see him attend
the spring concert.
“He is a veteran and risked his
life to protect our freedom,” said Brown. “ He likes to see
us perform and he shows us that we shouldn't take our
freedom for granted.”
By Army Staff Sgt. Teresa Adams
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