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Fourth graders perform patriotic salute

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

(Photo)
Morehouse Elementary fourth graders perform their annual "Show Me Missouri" musical.
MOREHOUSE -- Fourth graders at Morehouse Elementary performed their annual "Show Me Missouri" musical Tuesday and added a new twist to the finale -- a patriotic salute to all service men and women.

While the play is mostly in celebration of what the fourth graders learned in social studies this year, which is generally structured around Missouri, the importance of patriotism was also a factor in the play, said fourth grade teacher Beth Marshall.

"Patriotism means being truthful to your country," explained Willie Jones, a fourth grader.

Patriotism is important right now because of the war that's going on, said Kailey Goodman, whose grandfather, Pete Leija, has been serving in Iraq for about a year.

"Millions of people are fighting for their country. And if someone goes over there and dies, they're dying in honor of our country," Kailey said.

Throughout the 40-minute program, students performed skits and musical numbers, demonstrating their knowledge of state symbols, facts and cities; famous Missourians, the "Missouri Waltz" and Tom Sawyer.

Kailey and her cousin, Jon Tyler Day, also a fourth grader, admitted how important it is to be patriotic since their grandfather, who is also the mayor of Morehouse, is serving with the National Guard's 1221st Transportation Company of Dexter.

"He wanted and needed to help the other kids. I'm not worried because he's really healthy," Kailey said about her grandfather serving in Iraq.

Due to a two-week leave from Iraq, Leija was on hand to watch his grandchildren and their classmates perform.