VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Fifth grade students at S.L. Mason Elementary School in Valdosta planted a tree to honor a local hero.
During a social studies class earlier this year Mary Maynard, an author, told the students about a man named Arthur Brown.
Brown was a navy veteran that saved Maynard during World War II.
The students learned Maynard was in town to see Brown, who was a Valdosta native.
The students decided to write him letters thanking him for his service.
He passed away just weeks later in March.
The students decided to honor him and Maynard with a tree and plaque in front of the school.
"To get them to actually be a part of living history was really priceless. When Mrs. Maynard came and spoke to the children they realized this is a real story, they realized this isn't something they just read in history books," says their teacher Mrs. Gayle Valdez.
Teachers say it's a unique experience they hope the children remember forever.