BELFAST – Although their regular teachers were there, the Randall Collins Veterans of Foreign Wars Post served as substitute teachers for elementary school students from Searsmont.
“This is part of our outreach programs, veterans in the classroom. Where we remember, honor and teach and we’re trying to pass on our traditions to the younger generation. Hopefully, they’ll carry on, said Jim Roberts, the Belfast WFW’s operations manager.
According to the history.com website, Memorial Day originated during the Civil War.
“It’s just really cool to come out and recognize fallen veterans who have fought for our country,” said Ames Elementary School fifth-grader Brogan McAvoy.
According to the history website, the last Monday of May officially became Memorial Day in 1971.
On Friday, nearly 50 years after that declaration, students in Waldo County helped veterans remember those who died while serving their country.
“I laid one down for World War II and World War I, said Greta Graf, also a fifth grader at Ames Elementary.
One teacher said the cemetery was an unlikely but excellent classroom.
“I feel we take great pride in trying to instill patriotism in our kiddos from the very, very beginning. And this is an excellent first step,” Ames Elementary teacher Sarah Nelson said.
The fifth graders sang the national anthem in what might be called a vocal salute to those veterans interred at Belfast’s Grove Cemetery.