Posted at: 11/12/2012 4:42 PM
Updated at: 11/13/2012 9:02 AM
By: Laurie Stribling
A World War II veteran shared his experiences with fourth through sixth grade students from Barnum Elementary School. It all started after Ed Ericson took a recent Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C.
On the plane, he got unexpected mail from a group of fifth grade students.
"We got in the air and we had a mail call," Ericson said. "One of the things was a stack of 12 or 13 letters from Mrs. Johnson's fifth grade class. If they would take the time to write the letters. I have the time, being retired, to answer them."
Ericson didn't just answer the letters; he showed up to the assembly held in the Barnum High School auditorium to thank the students and share stories.
"I liked seeing the pictures," student Sophie Richardson said. "I thought it was really cool, and I thought it was neat that Mr. Ericson got to come and see us."
"I liked when he told us about how many guns there were and how big the planes were," student Isaac Golen said.
Ericson told students during his speech that freedom is not free. It's a message he hoped they would remember, and Golen said he would.
"Before I thought it's just the army, and now there is a lot more important things to it," Golen said.
At the end of Ericson's speech, the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Other veterans were also in the crowd and received recognition from the students.