Lanterns dedicated to veterans light a hallway at Fox Hollow Elementary School. | Courtesy, Trissy Marie Wyrick-White
IDAHO FALLS — Over 1,000 paper lanterns lit up the hallways of Fox Hollow Elementary School in Idaho Falls School District 91 this week. It was the culmination of Trissy Marie Wyrick-White’s home room project, which students had been working on all year.
Wyrick-White started doing origami projects in 2020, when her sixth-grade class folded over 1,000 paper cranes.
“Ever since then, I try to do an origami project every year,” she told EastIdahoNews.com. “2020 was paper cranes, last year was lucky stars and this year (was) lanterns.”
“And I thought it would be a really cool way to honor veterans who (have) passed away,” she said.
Wyrick-White and her husband both served in the U.S. Army, so this year’s project felt a little more personal.
“Things like this are close to our heart,” she said.
Each lantern has a service man or woman’s name on it. All the service members are from Idaho.
Courtesy of Trissy Marie Wyrick-White
Getting the names wasn’t hard, she said.
“I reached out on Facebook and had people send us old newspapers with World War II vets’ names (and) we got a few lists from local veteran organizations,” Wyrick-White stated. “We also sent home a paper for our own students to fill out … all the papers we got back, we filled out lanterns for them.”
The students, Wyrick-White said, “loved it so much.”
Students learned about the different branches of the military and the ranking system so they could understand what they were writing on the lanterns.
“They were really interested in learning how many local people had served our country,” she said.
Wyick-White pointed out that the school year is ending, so the display “won’t last long,” but she wanted to recognize her students’ hard work.
She isn’t sure if they’ll do another memorial next year.
“I try to do a different origami project each year so every year is unique,” she said.
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