Veterans give students a personal history lesson

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Richard Donahue is a Korean War veteran. He proudly served his country and today he’s giving a history lesson that middle and high school students won’t soon forget.

“I give them a little insight into the fact that the Korean War took place before their parents were event born,” he said.

Korean War veteran Richard Donahue talks with a student about his war experiences, May 23, 3014.
Korean War veteran Richard Donahue talks with a student about his war experiences, May 23, 3014.

It’s all part of the 14th annual Hamden Veterans Awareness Day at Quinnipiac University. Veterans from various wars and branches of the military come together to teach students about our country’s past through their war experience.

“I think the children should know what went on to save our country,” said Donahue, who has been taking part in this event for seven years.

For some of the veterans at today’s event this is the first time they’re taking part in it all. 93-year-old Joseph Minto is one of them. He’s a World War II veteran.

“I want to educate kids if I possibly can,” he said, “because a lot of them don’t realize that the freedom that they got was earned by somebody.”

Much of the education that took place today was eye opening for the students as they looked at much of the memorabilia the veterans have collected over the years.

A Korean War Veteran medal is on display.
A Korean War Veteran medal is on display.

“I wanted the kids to know, and I have some memorabilia here to show them, it was a real life thing and we are human beings and we were there,” Donahue said.

It’s also a sobering reminder of our country’s past — and present — and what the Memorial Day weekend is all about.

“I’d like them to learn that freedom is not free,” Minto said. “It’s very very very expensive.”

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