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Students of Dexheim Elementary School's third- and fourth-grade classes sing a Thanksgiving song Wednesday at the conclusion of the school's holiday celebration.
Students of Dexheim Elementary School's third- and fourth-grade classes sing a Thanksgiving song Wednesday at the conclusion of the school's holiday celebration. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Students of Dexheim Elementary School's third- and fourth-grade classes sing a Thanksgiving song Wednesday at the conclusion of the school's holiday celebration.
Students of Dexheim Elementary School's third- and fourth-grade classes sing a Thanksgiving song Wednesday at the conclusion of the school's holiday celebration. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
First-grade Pilgrims say their lines during the third- and fourth-grade classes' performance at the Dexheim Elementary School's Thanksgiving celebration Wednesday in Dexheim, Germany. From left to right are Daniel Wright, Robert Gochenour, Alexis Paprzycki, Annika Hogland, Iam Hammock and Stephania Suarez. It is the final Thanksgiving for the school, which is scheduled to close at the end of the school year.
First-grade Pilgrims say their lines during the third- and fourth-grade classes' performance at the Dexheim Elementary School's Thanksgiving celebration Wednesday in Dexheim, Germany. From left to right are Daniel Wright, Robert Gochenour, Alexis Paprzycki, Annika Hogland, Iam Hammock and Stephania Suarez. It is the final Thanksgiving for the school, which is scheduled to close at the end of the school year. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Christofer Ramos, 8, a third-grader at Dexheim Elementary School in Germany, holds up a "stuffed" turkey as he and his third- and fourth-grade schoolmates sing a Thanksgiving song. At the end of the song, the turkey is to survive because it will be a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
Christofer Ramos, 8, a third-grader at Dexheim Elementary School in Germany, holds up a "stuffed" turkey as he and his third- and fourth-grade schoolmates sing a Thanksgiving song. At the end of the song, the turkey is to survive because it will be a vegetarian Thanksgiving. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
Fredrick Wheeler, 10, was the narrator for the Dexheim Elementary School's third- and fourth-grade Thanksgiving performance.
Fredrick Wheeler, 10, was the narrator for the Dexheim Elementary School's third- and fourth-grade Thanksgiving performance. (Michael Abrams / S&S)
First-graders Brianna Thomas, left, Kina Baird, center, and Deandre Fulmore play the part of Indians at Dexheim Elementary School's Thanksgiving celebration.
First-graders Brianna Thomas, left, Kina Baird, center, and Deandre Fulmore play the part of Indians at Dexheim Elementary School's Thanksgiving celebration. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

DEXHEIM, Germany — Some students warbled like turkeys, while others donned paper pilgrim hats or fussed with their feathered headdress.

Thanksgiving school events, such as the pair of Wednesday afternoon skits at Dexheim Elementary School, have changed little over the years. The simplicity is enduring and the kids are cute: most perform as practiced and proud parents applaud often.

“It’s mostly a day to be thankful for what you have and what you have done,” 10-year-old Frederick Wheeler, a fourth-grader, said of the holiday.

Dexheim, located near Wiesbaden and the Rhine River, is a U.S. military community in transition. The school is slated to close next year, but Anderson Barracks — at least for the time being — is sticking around.

None of that mattered Wednesday when 90 children and scores of parents gathered in the Dragon’s gym to talk turkey, as in Pilgrims and Indians.

“They sailed on a ship called the Mayflower to find a new home across the ocean,” a first-grader said of the autumn of 1620. “It was a difficult journey that lasted 66 days.”

And so it went for 10 minutes, culminating in a recount of the first Thanksgiving a year later. The feast lasted three days.

The third- and fourth-graders followed with a short skit called “Thanks for Thanksgiving” and a couple of songs.

“It was fun to be in the play,” said 6-year-old Robyn Copeland, who was a Pilgrim for a day, “and someday we will get to choose what we want to be.”

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