Dirigo Elementary School student Hunter Flagg gives his father, Cole Flagg, an engraved coin as a gift to thank him for his service during a Veterans Day ceremony Friday morning for students, staff and their veteran family members at Dirigo Elementary School in Peru. Cole Flagg has been in the U.S. Army for nine years and he is currently a combat engineer working out of Norway with 251 Sapper Company. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

PERU — Students and staff at Dirigo Elementary School honored family members and friends who are veterans on Friday during a Veterans Day assembly that included special videotaped messages thanking them for their service, and gifting veterans with coins engraved with “Thank you for your service.”

Left to right, Chris Little of Dixfield, a Navy veteran, Jeff Knight of Dixfield, an Army veteran, and Mike Heinzen of Mexico, an Army veteran, attend a Veterans Day breakfast and assembly Friday at Dirigo Elementary School. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

The morning started off with a breakfast in the school cafeteria, with a meal specially prepared for the veterans by culinary arts students and their instructor, Ryan Kimball, from Region 9 School of Applied Technology. After breakfast, veterans filed into the gym where they were greeted with applause by DES students and staff.

Waiting in line with other veterans to enter the gym, veteran Scotty Kilbreth of Canton said two of his grandchildren were presenting him with a pin at the assembly. Kilbreth said he thought the assembly for the veterans was nice, especially for veterans of the Vietnam era, because they weren’t shown appreciation for their service at the time, he said.

Ellen Wainwright of Canton, center left, a staff assistant for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, hugs deceased U.S. Army Sgt. Tyler Curtis’ niece, Brittany Doucette, as Camden Curtis, Sgt. Curtis’ son and his mother, Joyce Curtis, watch nearby. Wainwright presented the family with a flag from the senator’s office during a Veterans Day assembly Friday at Dirigo Elementary School. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Ellen Wainwright of Canton, a staff assistant for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, presented a flag from the senator’s office to the family of deceased U.S. Army Sgt. Tyler Curtis, formerly of Jay.

As part of The Summit Project, Wainwright carried a stone in Curtis’ memory on her hike around Acadia National Park last month.

“I’ve known the Curtis family for a very long time and they’re very wonderful people,” she said. “And so, it was very nice to be a part of Tyler’s life and carry this stone in memorial for him.”

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About 50 veterans were honored Friday during an assembly and breakfast at Dirigo Elementary School. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

 


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