Fifth-grade students from three Chelsea area elementary schools recently participated in a once-in-a-lifetime experience of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery. The students were on a joint field trip from Mt Laurel Elementary, Forest Oaks Elementary, and Chelsea Park Elementary. The special event was coordinated by Mt Laurel teacher Sam Scott.
“Oftentimes, we travel to places and observe certain wonderful events,” Scott said. “After assisting the fifth grade Washington, D.C. field trip for the second consecutive year, I observed young people participating in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I was later approached by a parent of a Mt Laurel Elementary School student who said, ‘Wow, that is fascinating. We should do this.’”
Scott told the parent he would look into the process for participating the next year. In January, Scott researched the process and petitioned Arlington for possible participation.
“I had to submit an essay supporting my position for the district’s participation,” Scott said. “On February 26, I received notification that my request was approved. Excited and elated, I notified the field trip coordinator, Dani Green, of the approval. I contacted the trip representatives at Chelsea Park Elementary and Forest Oaks Elementary and asked them to select one student from their school to participate.”
Ava Cullison from Forest Oaks Elementary, Harper Thornbrough from Chelsea Park Elementary, and Katherine Peterson and Kathryn Bryars from Mt Laurel Elementary were selected to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony.
“I explained the process to the students, and they were given specific instructions from the Tomb Guard in Charge,” Scott said. “The students performed this awesome and exciting task on October 14 during the 9:15 a.m. session. It was an unbelievable opportunity for these students to represent Shelby County Schools in this manner and will be an everlasting memory for them.”