Featured speakers at the dedication will include Tom Kuroski, president of the Newtown Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1727. The ceremony will honor fallen educators with a wreath-laying and a reading of names that will be inscribed on a granite memorial at the plaza, located near the one-room schoolhouse on the ESU campus. The dedication ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and family members of those being honored have been invited to place flowers as the names are read.
to watch the ceremony live online at Emporia radio station KVOE’s website.
The National Teachers Hall of Fame broke ground for the memorial in 2013, and donations have come from unions, foundations, corporate groups, retired teachers, schoolchildren and interested individuals across the country. Their support has made possible a memorial plaza that focuses on 113 names, etched in gold on two black granite monuments, flanked by a lighted walkway, benches, a bricked patio area and flower-trimmed retaining walls. Identifying all the educators killed in the line of duty over the years has been a major challenge, says NTHF Director Carol Strickland, and AFT affiliates have played a vital role in helping the organization gather names of those dedicated school professionals who have given the last full measure of devotion. Sadly, room has been left at the memorial to add additional names.
“We want this to be a national monument built by the people in America to honor these heroes,” says Strickland. Assistance, she adds, has come in many ways: ranging from a contribution by the George Lucas Family Foundation to a “money order for $25.38 that was sent from a kindergarten teacher for her students who collected change for several weeks.”
Memorial fundraising will continue to help cover maintenance costs and later additions to the plaza, such as outdoor touch-screen kiosks that will tell the stories of each of the fallen heroes and help visitors understand the importance of this memorial.
to visit the Teachers Hall of Fame’s website and contribute or to learn more.