LA QUINTA – Some of the most poignant and subtly sophisticated contributions that will be sealed into a special time capsule dedicated to veterans are hand-written letters that 50 first-grade pupils at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School submitted.

Might want to have a tissue handy.

“Dear hero

“Thank you so much for Protecting our country,” Santiago Garcia wrote. I will never know your face but I want you to know I’m proud of you for risking your life to keeping us safe.”

You may read his entire letter here.

Ayden Goyer wrote, “Thank you for being brave. Thank you for protecting our country. And to my special veteran thank you daddy for keeping me safe. Your my hero. I love you.”

You may see Ayden’s entire letter here.

Santiago’s and Ayden’s teacher is Martha LaBerge.

“Dear U.S. Veterans,” Celeste Salas wrote. “Thank you for all you did for our country. Thank you for your sacrifice. You are brave courageous. You are our heroes. We are very proud of you.”

You may see her letter here.

Celeste’s teacher is Tanika Raines.

Letters From Pupils Included in Time Capsule

Benjamin Franklin Elementary teachers Martha LaBerge with her two pupils and Tanika with hers. (Photo courtesy of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School.

Uken Report was able to publish the letters and the pupils’ photos with the help of Riverside County  Riverside Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez’s office, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Principal Elvirra Gutzwiller and the children’s parents.

The time capsule will be placed in the tribute site at Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park, which will be dedicated at 7 p.m. May 25.

Veterans, veterans organizations, military service and support organizations, and community members are welcome — and encouraged — to place items into a special veterans time capsule that will be part of Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park.

Items are needed by Tuesday, May 22.

“Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park is the first park in our county park system named in honor of veterans, and I’m very proud that veterans have had a major part in its design and features,” Supervisor V. Manuel Perez has said. “The veterans time capsule was one of the suggestions that was brought forth by local veterans that we are incorporating. We want as many veterans and organizations to take part in this historic occasion.”

Perez engaged the Palm Springs Air Museum for professional assistance in curating items for the time capsule. Frank Castner, the museum’s volunteer librarian and archivist, volunteered to assist the county in this effort. The gifted items will be processed, recorded, assigned archive numbers and placed in protective materials to preserve them 40 years from now, when the time capsule will be unearthed and opened.

Everyone, not just veterans, is invited to submit an item into the time capsule.

Items should be small, thin and veteran-centric. They can include individual keepsakes such as photographs, medals and family letters, membership rosters, newspaper articles, or resolutions from organizations, federal and state representatives, cities and special districts.

To donate an item for the veterans time capsule, bring it to the Palm Springs Air Museum Library, located in Palm Springs, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail. Deliveries should be made between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

Perez represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county.