Evans Elementary School kindergartener Joey Thornton, 5, eats lunch with Martinez Fire Department Fire Firefighter Mark Meier of Engine Company 2 Wednesday. The school honored the firefighters with a special lunch.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
"I am going to be a fireman," 5-year-old Joey Thornton proclaimed.
On Wednesday, the kindergartener was lucky enough to sit next to Firefighter Mark Meier when several members of Martinez Fire Department Engine Co. 2 had lunch with the pupils, faculty and parents who were there to honor the firefighters. .
"We wanted to honor our heroes," said Lisa Duncan, a kindergarten teacher. "These firefighters are our heroes that live in our community. We wanted to celebrate patriotism and our heroes."
Earlier that morning, all 500 pupils gathered around the flagpole to say the pledge and participate in a moment of silence in remembrance of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"You could hear a pin drop," Duncan said. "With 500 elementary school students, that is a feat. During the moment of silence it was silent, except for a few sniffles."
Of all the events she has been involved in during her nine years at the school, that was definitely the most touching, she said.
The school invited the firefighters from Engine Co. 2 because the station is less than a mile from the school, and those firefighters often come talk to pupils about fire safety, let pupils go through the fire safety house and make presentations.
"We wanted to honor them because they are familiar faces," Principal Amy Smith said.
Parents decorated tables in red, white and blue. Parents and faculty brought in homemade platters of food
Having a home-cooked meal was wonderful, Meier said.
Joey leaned into an in-depth discussion with Meier during lunch concerning his decision to be a firefighter. Meier simply assured him that it was a good career choice.
After lunch, the firefighters enjoyed dessert including cookies and cupcakes made by parents. Kroger donated a large sheet cake with a thank you message from the school printed in icing on top.
"We wanted it to be an upbeat and positive celebration of patriotism and American heroes," Smith said.
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