Back in September of 2006, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a Social Studies teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission from the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor took all of the desks out of her classroom.
The kids came into class first period, and found there were no desks. They looked around and said, "Ms. Cothren, Where are our desks?"
She said, "You can have a desk when you tell me correctly how you earn it."
The students thought: "Well, maybe it's our grades."
"No," she said.
"Maybe it's our behavior."
She told them, "No, it's not even your behavior."
First period came and went...still no desks in the classroom. Second period; third period - the same thing. By early afternoon, television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren's classroom to find out about the crazy teacher who had all the desks taken out of her room.
During the last period of the day, Martha Cothren gathered her class. They sat on the floor around the sides of the room.
She said, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that ordinarily sit in this classroom. Now I'm going to tell you."
Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. As she did, 27 U.S. Veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom. Each one carried a school desk. The Veterans placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall.
By the time they had finished placing the desks, the kids, perhaps for the first time in their lives, understood how they earned their desks.
Martha said, "You don't have to earn the desks. The Veterans did it for you. They put them out there for you. It's up to you to sit here responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they paid a price for you to have your desk. Don't ever forget it."
My friend, I think sometimes we do forget. The freedoms we have are because of ordinary people who did extraordinary things; who loved this country more than life itself and who not only earned a school desk for a kid at the Robinson High School in Little Rock, but who earned a seat for you and me to enjoy this great land we call home, this wonderful nation that we better love enough to protect and preserve.
WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.
I hope you all have a GREAT Memorial Day weekend, and remember to thank any and all veterans you come across for the freedoms you enjoy!