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Buffalo School Students Send Notes to Troops

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Thousands of cards and letters from Buffalo school children will soon be shipped to US troops in Iraq.

A huge conference table at the Buffalo Teacher Federation office was filled Wednesday from end to end with letters, cards and colorful drawings from city students. Some were crafted on construction paper, featuring American flags, red hearts and even student photos.

BTF President Philip Rumore says students and teachers wanted to do something to thank the troops.

"People may have differences about wars, but the only thing we know for sure is the people over there fighting and risking their lives, deserve our support," Rumore said.

Rumore was joined by some of the students who wrote letters. Student Vincent Caito from School Number 3 says his entire school created greetings for the troops.

"We hope they will come home safe and we can win this thing," Vincent said.

Western New York Congressman Jack Quinn also made an appearance. He says the handmade notes are so important in communicating to the troops that there is a great deal of support from the home front. Quinn read one of the notes from a Buffalo school girl.

"'You are very brave, thanks, I love you, Marisa,'" Quinn read from the letter. "This probably sums it up. We are thanking people we don't even know, but we know what they are doing is important and we appreciate it."

Even the youngest of students, kindergartners from the Charles R. Drew Magnet school, crafted a special message.

"We made these pictures for keeping you safe," read one note.

The BTF will forward the thousands of letters and cards to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base in the next couple of weeks for future delivery to the troops participating in "Operation Iraqi Freedom."