Eighth graders arrange a display of flags Monday in front of Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico in observance of Veterans Day on Saturday. The public is welcome to view the display from now through Monday. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — A Field of Flags to honor veterans is displayed in front of Mountain Valley Middle School for public viewing from now through Monday.

Eighth graders arranged the display Monday to pay tribute to those who serve in the military and to raise money to support ill and injured heroes.

Social studies teacher Abby Woods said her four classes created the display.

“You don’t really think about it a lot in your daily life,” student Edward Packard said, “but all these people died or lost part of themselves fighting in the middle of nowhere, pretty much, just for you.”

“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,” student Emily Gilbert said. She said her grandfather served in the Air Force during the Cold War and her stepfather was a truck driver in Iraq.

People were invite to donate $10 for a flag in honor or memory of someone. Woods said initially they were hoping to raise about $200, but ended up taking in $540, which will go to the the Disabled American Veterans organization.


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

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

She said 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.”

“We really want our kids to think a little bit less of themselves and start thinking a little bit more about those around them,” Luce said. “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.”

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