Girl thanks veterans using simple sidewalk chalk

13News Now Audrey Esther has the story

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A Virginia Beach girl came up with a simple way to say thanks to those who served our country.

“Everybody should honor the veterans,” says 9-year-old Savannah Dugen.

With every swipe of her sidewalk chalk Savannah shows how a simple request to show her gratitude to veterans can mean so much. 

“I would like to make an American flag shaped like a heart for the veterans in this neighborhood,” Savannah reads from the letter she sent her neighbors.

“It says Tom Canady and that's my grandfather's name,” says Mckenzie Griffio.

Tom Canady also lived across the street from Savannah, and, before he died last year, served honorably in Air Force during WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. 

“This was something really special that she could have done for our family right now,” Griffio says.

It was also special to the other nine families in her neighborhood who said yes to Savannah's request too, like the Chamberlins.

“Anything you can do kind these days really sets a good example for other kids and adults too,” says Claire Chamberlin.

“When I asked her why she said because her daddy was a Marine and she understood what that meant to fight for our country,” says her mother, Gail Dugen. “He was first in her thoughts when she created the project.”

She was also thinking about her grandfather Richard who served in the Coast Guard and her grandfather Frank who served in the Air Force.

“It's just good knowing that somebody that I knew helped our country,” Savannah says. 

Her art a reminder about holiday's the real reason.   

“We should honor the veterans because they sacrificed their lives for us to keep the country safe,” Savannah says.  

However, hearing her daughter’s wise words might mean the most though to her mother and father.

“Because at nine years old we didn't realize that she would truly understand what a veteran was but she did,” she says.


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