Thanks to sailors for service

Published 9:02 pm Friday, March 2, 2018

More than 100 U.S. Navy sailors were among those that came to Suffolk elementary schools and read Dr. Seuss books on Tuesday in celebration of Read Across America Day.

The day, originally founded to celebrate the birthday of popular children’s author Dr. Seuss, is typically celebrated with readings of his and others’ work at schools.

That’s been the case in Suffolk in past years, too. But it was really kicked up a notch this week with the participation of the dozens of U.S. Navy sailors.

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The students not only got to hear a great Dr. Seuss yarn — some favorites included “Horton Hears a Who,” “The Cat in the Hat” and “If I Ran the Zoo” — but also got to ask the sailors about what they do in the Navy, perhaps inspiring them to pursue a career in the military.

There were, in fact, hundreds of sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, reading in 79 elementary schools in all five South Hampton Roads cities. They visited more than 1,700 classrooms and read to about 40,000 children.

In addition to the sailors, plenty of other community members and administrators also read to children this week.

These kinds of events are important for our young people. Many students may not have many books at home or may not have a parent or other adult with the time to read to them. Elementary students need to see and be inspired by a variety of adults who are upstanding members of our community — and that certainly includes these fine sailors the USS Abraham Lincoln, who took time away from serving our country on a large scale to visit local elementary schools and make a different kind of impact.

We thank them for their service — both in our classrooms and on our carriers — and hope they will be able to return in the future.