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A Story to Remember

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Today's bonus episode marks Remembrance Day.

Like many of you, I have family members who have served in the military, and so I thought I’d share this story today as a reminder of the sacrifices that were made – and continue to be made -- for our rights and freedoms.

My mom actually sent me this story and I noticed it was marked “True Story” at the top which frankly these days, you can never be sure of. But I did some digging and in fact, it is a true story. So I thought I’d share it with you here today.

It involves a high school teacher named Martha Cothren who wanted to teach her students an important lesson on the first day of the school year.

So on the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, Martha removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period students entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?' the students asked.

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'

They thought about it and finally someone said, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'

'No,' she said.

'Maybe it's our behavior.'

She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, the third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon TV news crews had started gathering at the school to report on the teacher who had taken all the desks out of her classroom.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what they have done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) War Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Veterans began placing the school desks in rows, and then they walked over and stood along the wall.

By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place, the students began to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'

Thanks, Martha – what a great reminder. And thank you to all the current members of the military and veterans who have fought for our rights and freedoms.

We remember.

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