Students at Pershing Park Elementary School showed their patriotic spirit Friday by turning their school into a “freedom museum.”

Students created various projects using the themes of heroism and freedom, according to Pershing Park curriculum instructional specialist Ruth Lake.

“We wanted them to tell us what freedom means to them,” Lake said. “We also asked them what they thought makes someone a hero.”

The projects students displayed at the campus Friday included collaborative poems, essays, dioramas and colorful bulletin boards.

Pershing Park fifth-graders Leandra Reese, Jason Meredith and Evaleena Garcia stood by their classroom door, which was decorated with a collage commemorating the 9/11 terror attacks.

The students stood next to the memorial and spoke to their peers about the events of that day and the first responders who helped the victims.

“A lot of people risked their lives to try and help,” Garcia said. “It was a sad day, but there were also people who came and helped others.”

Like most schools in the Killeen district, Pershing Park has a large population of students with military ties. Lake said living in a military community impacts students’ concepts of freedom and heroism.

“I think that because they are here in a military town, the students are very proud of their community,” Lake said.

The students agreed with Lake. They pointed out that folks not in the military deserve to be recognized, too.

“Just because you’re not in the Army doesn’t mean you aren’t serving your country,” Reese said. “Anyone can serve.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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