South Orangetown Central School District

This morning, students in Denise Murphy’s fourth-grade class at Cottage Lane Elementary School learned the meaning of the White Table as they explored the significance of Veterans Day and discussed the countless sacrifices of our nation’s service members.

On Veterans Day, the White Table is a special place setting to symbolize remembrance of and gratitude for service members fallen, missing or held captive in the line of duty.

With their own table set at the front of the classroom, Murphy read aloud “America’s White Table” by Margot Theis-Raven, the story of a family who learns the significance of each item placed on the table as they come to appreciate the depth of sacrifice of service members and their families.

Students discussed their own interpretations of the White Table and what it represents as they shared individual stories of family members and relatives who have served or are currently serving in the military.

“It is so important to remember and share these meaningful stories as we recognize and honor our veterans,” Murphy explained. “These individuals have bravely sacrificed themselves for our country.”

As part of the lesson, students wrote personal messages of gratitude on yellow paper ribbons to signify support for U.S. troops. The yellow ribbons will be presented to fifth-grade teacher James Sharkey and fourth-grade teacher Philip Krump, both veterans who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, respectively.

Student holds up decorated yellow ribbon