Children at the South Chula Vista Library bypassed books for an activities table where they were able to decorate thank you cards to Chula Vista veterans.
The activity, in its fourth year, gives children an opportunity to express gratitude to veterans staying at the Veterans Home in Chula Vista.
Children chose one of six coloring Veterans Day thank you cards. Upon coloring the pages, they cut out their card, place it in a colored envelope and slide it in a mini mailbox for delivery.
One of those appreciative children was 6-year-old Damian Reyes of Loma Verde Elementary School. Damian carefully colored his pages but had no idea what it was for.
“What’s Veteran’s Day?” the first-grader asked a librarian.
He knew what Thanksgiving and Christmas were but not Veterans Day.
What started out as an activity soon became an educational opportunity as Damien was taught by a library staff member on the importance of Veterans Day.
He listened patiently to the staff member’s explanation of the holiday and how Veterans fought for his freedom to color.
Maria Aguilar, a library associate, said the activity was created by the library for teaching moments like this.
“We just want this opportunity to be about thanking our veterans,” she said. “We just want to show that they are appreciated.”
Aguilar said Veterans Day means a lot to her because as a woman she is granted more freedom in this country than other countries.
“Veterans Day means a lot for the freedom we have in the United States, compared to other countries who do not have some of the same freedoms in many ways, such as what I choose to say and where I can work without worrying about being arrested.”
Roi Reyes, Damian’s dad, said coloring thank you Cards is showing Damian all about community service.
“It’s an opportunity for him to go out and do something for the community at such a young age,” he said. “It means a lot that my son is here learning about Veterans Day and coloring thank you cards.”
Some of the other small children coloring did not know about the holiday but a middle schooler did.
Alyssa Miller colored her card and said she knows about Veterans Day because she gets the day off from school.
“I want to thank the Veterans for all of their sacrifice,” she said. “But I also want to thank them for giving me a day off from school.”
Library staff on Thursday delivered the small batch of cards to the Chula Vista Veteran’s veteran’s home.