To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

Ames students place flags at Grove Cemetery

Honor veterans who served
By Fran Gonzalez | May 24, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez VFW Post Commander Anthony Kimble looks over a headstone with Ames Elementary students May 24 to decipher name and age and reflect on their dedication before placing a commemorative flag.

The entire Ames Elementary School in Searsmont turned out to commemorate fallen servicemen and women today by placing American Flags on graves sites at Grove Cemetery.

The event was sponsored by the Randall Collins Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3108, in preparation for the formal flag placement ceremony tomorrow.

Jim Roberts, VFW operations manager, said in a press release, "Every year the Belfast VFW places the American flags on grave sites on the Saturday before Memorial Day, but this year we are showing students, continuing our mission of 'Veterans in the classroom,' and having students witness, then practice, placing flags."

Post Commander Anthony Kimble encouraged students to say the veteran's name out loud, thank them for their service, notice their age and reflect on their dedication.

"Do this with respect and gratitude," he said.

Before placing flags, Ames fifth-graders sang "God Bless America," followed by Roberts playing "Taps."

"It is important," Kimble said, "not to take for granted the freedoms we have, which were paid for by the servicemen and women and their ultimate sacrifices.

"We will not forget," he said.

Principal Lori Smails said, "It was very meaningful for both students and staff to participate. Again, it really connects what we are teaching in the classroom to real-life events.

"Today's event was truly authentic learning. Students see the flags in our community or watch a ceremony on television, but participating in such an event brings learning to life, and also creates the sense of community we want to instill in our students."

Second grade teacher Sarah Nelson said she was thankful to Randall Collins VFW Post 3108 for reaching out to the Ames School for this educational opportunity.

"We have been most fortunate to partner with members of the VFW to foster patriotism and community volunteerism," she said.

"An event where each student places a flag on the final resting site of a service member shows our students the true meaning of Memorial Day, teaches flag etiquette and builds respect for those who have served."

Each Ames Elementary School student has a flag to place at the grave site of a serviceman or woman at Grove Cemetery May 24. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Ames students place flags with guidance from Bill Pollock, Post 3108 quartermaster, right, member May 24. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Ames Elementary School second grade teacher Sarah Nelson leads students into Grove Cemetery May 24 to place flags on the final resting places of servicemen and women and thank them for their service. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Ames Elementary fifth-graders sing "God Bless America" before placing flags at Grove Cemetery May 24. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
Ames students with teacher Sarah Nelson, center, join in singing "God Bless America" at Grove Cemetery May 24. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
(Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
(Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.