Valentine’s Day has meaning for lovers, families, friends and many individuals. But what does it mean for youth?
Leading up to the Friday, Feb. 14 holiday, Daily News spoke to 10 elementary students in Wahpeton. Their answers were genuine, from the heart and often surprising.
Who would you give a valentine to?
“My mom, because I love her,” said Rudy Opatril, 6, a kindergartener at Zimmerman Elementary.
Sophia Jones and Bailee Mohs, also 6, agree. Their parents are special and worthy of valentines.
“My mom,” Jones said.
“Dad. He cleans the house,” Mohs said.
What is Valentine’s Day about?
“It’s about loving your family and that God is loving,” said Ruby Trettel, 7, a second grader at St. John’s Elementary. “There’s loving other people and seeing other people love other people.”
Kiana Puchalski, 7, summed up the holiday with a simple “Loving.” Booker Frolek, 8, said it’s about “spending time with family and giving love to others.”
Second graders from Wahpeton Elementary had similar thoughts.
“It’s about being nice to your friends,” said Aaliyah Long, 7.
Friendship also figured into the answers of Brandon Liddle, 7, and Gavin Marohl, 8. Rhapsody Lunsetter, 7, was also succinct.
“Love,” she said.
What is love about?
Looking at a heart, Opatril said it reminds him “that you love them forever.”
Kindness and compassion were the bedrock of the second graders’ answers. Here are a few:
“Being nice to people,” Liddle said.
“Being nice to each other and caring about others,” Lunsetter said.
“Caring for other people,” Puchalski said.
“Spending time with family and helping others,” Frolek said.
“It’s about the earth being happy and for me to love other people and other people to love me,” Trettel said. “There’s also treating people the way you’d want to be treated.”
How do you show love?
“I like to help my dad,” Mohs said.
Helping others and showing affection were common answers for the Wahpeton youth.
“If they’re sad, I like to give them a hug and cheer them up,” Trettel said.
Liddle remembered when someone scraped their knee. He made sure to check that they were okay.
“I like helping with chores,” Marohl said. “I do the dishes, clean my room and pick up my toys.”
Does it feel good to get a valentine?
“When someone gives me one, I feel happy,” Long said.
“I feel special and grateful to receive it,” Lunsetter said.
Chocolate or fruit-flavored candy?
The Wahpeton Elementary students all preferred fruit flavors, although they like actual fruit even more. The St. John’s students prefer chocolate, especially when it has a creamy or caramel filling.
“I like chocolate, because it’s chocolate,” Mohs said.
Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine, a Roman priest who continued to perform marriages despite they being forbidden by Emperor Claudius II. Because of this, Valentine was condemned and executed on approximately Feb. 14, 270 A.D. More than 200 years later, by decree of Pope Gelasius, the day became known as an annual celebration of St. Valentine.
Daily News wishes all Twin Towns Area residents, youth and adult, a happy Valentine’s Day.