Veterans in Tremont continue their Thursday tradition of greeting students at the grade school

Local News

TREMONT, Ill. (WMBD) — Students across the state might be out of class for a few more weeks, but veterans in Tremont are carrying on their weekly traditions.

Every Thursday, a group lines up at Tremont Grade School to give fist bumps and welcome students to school.

Rick Otey, one of the veterans, says this week, they decided to continue with their weekly plans from a distance due to COVID-19 concerns. The CDC and other health officials are limiting the sizes of social gatherings and encouraging people to stay six feet away from one another.

“This is a way that we can honor the guidelines of the CDC, but at the same time, fist bump the kids through the car on the car window,” said Otey.

Parents loaded up the cars with their kids on Thursday and headed to school. Cars lined up to fist bump the veterans through the window.

They say it’s social distancing while giving the kids a field trip to get out of the house.

“We’re just fist bumping the window. We can fist bump through the window kind of as a hope to help the kids realize okay, the world’s not falling apart, we have to do a few things differently, and we can adapt,” said Otey.

The veterans say the activity is fun for the children and a way for them to give back and get involved in their community.

Otey was inspired by posts he saw trending on social media of people connecting through the safety of windows to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, engagements.

He figured he could do the same in Tremont and carry on the tradition they started three years ago.

Otey says, for now, they’ll plan on doing this again to spread smiles.

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