Mountain Valley Middle School eighth graders set up a field of American flags for Veterans Day on Monday afternoon in front of the school. The public is welcome to view the display, which will remain until Nov. 13. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — On Monday, eighth graders at Mountain Valley Middle School students set up a field of American flags for Veterans Day, all to honor local veterans as well as raising critical funds to support our ill and injured heroes.

Abbey Woods, 8th grade social studies teacher, said her four classes set up the flags together and they will remain up until Nov. 13. The flags were be set up on the grass in front of the school parking lot.

Two students spoke about this experience.

Edward Packard, who said he doesn’t know of any veterans, noted, “You don’t really think about it alot in your daily life, but all these people died or part of themselves out fighting in the middle of nowhere, pretty much, just for you.”

Emily Gilbert said, “I learned that it’s very important to thank the men and women who served our country because they’re fighting for our freedom and we need to be thankful for that, especially for the holiday season and with the events that happened lately.”

She knows veterans who have served for our country, including her grandfather, who served in the Air Force during the Cold War. And her step-father served as a truck driver in Iraq.


As a result of this experience, Gilbert said she will be sure to ask these two veterans more questions about their experience serving for our country.
Woods said initially they were hoping for about $200, which was the minimum to get the outdoor flags. But they’ve more than doubled that, with 54 veterans. All the proceeds go back to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization.

At $10 a flag, each flag honors a veteran (could be local or nationwide). The person who makes the donation picks the veteran.

Woods said the public is welcome to come and view the display, although they were not given the names of the veterans being honored. Students also made yellow ribbons to attach to the flags.

“I hope the people who did donate will have a chance to drive by and see it. We were very excited with all the donations we received this year. We weren’t expecting to get over 50 veterans to honor. We hope to do this every year, and maybe see it double next year,” she said.

Woods said, “We’ve done class discussions in the four social studies classes that I teach. So all four classes have learned about the fundraiser. We’ve talked about veterans and their life. Some of their families have donated.”

She hopes her students see “what these people sacrificed for us and their families, and what they’ve gone through and how to feel connected.”
Principal Carrie Luce said, “That’s what we, as a whole school community, are working on this year, is creating that level of connection, schoolwide.”

It’s about making connections, as some of that was lost during the pandemic.

“Kids turn in their cell phones immediately, when they get here, so that we are talking. We really want our kids to think a little bit less of themselves and start thinking about a little bit more about those around them. That’s how we’re going to make our school better and improve.
This is a perfect, real-life application of what we’re trying to teach them.

Woods said, “Staff have reached out and been really thankful as well because they have family members who are veterans and they’re excited to see the school honoring their veterans as well.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: