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Richmond Pupils Honor Veterans at Luncheon
By John Durkan, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Friday, November 09, 2012
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Pupils held up letters spelling out Happy Veterans Day and gave a meaning for each one.

A map of where the Richmond veterans served.

Sixth-grade pupils ran the introductory table.

Veterans eating their meals during the luncheon.

An entire wall was decorated with a message thanking the veterans.

Pupils prepare to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.



Richmond Consolidated School pupils prepare for the Pledge of Allegiance during the luncheon on Friday afternoon.  
RICHMOND, Mass. — The staff and pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade pupils of Richmond Consolidated School hosted a luncheon honoring the town's veterans on Friday afternoon.
 
About 30 veterans walked into the festive cafeteria and were introduced by the sixth-graders, who seated and asked each veteran what branch they were in and where they served — data that was written on a sticker with the veteran's name and stuck to a map based on the service location. 
 
Pupils from every grade participated in the event. Eighth- and fourth-graders circled the cafeteria interviewing the veterans, asking them what branch they served in, when they served and how military service influenced their life.

Other grades paid respect through poetry and song — the pre-K led the Pledge of Allegiance; the first grade breaking down each letter of the words "Happy Veterans Day" into praise and thanks; the second grade recited the poem "In Flanders Field" and the third grade sang "Thank You, Soldiers."

The seventh grade will work behind the scenes with the collected data and figure out distribution statistics, among other things.
 
The veterans were treated to salad, bread, ham and some sides, with the assistance of some pupils who were serving. They sat at tables each with a vase and poppy flower centerpiece created by first- and fifth-graders. 

"It's an important function, we've been doing this for four years now," said Sharon Renfrew, the curriculum specialist and sixth-grade world geography teacher. "They learn so much by having conversations with the veterans, and learn more about Veterans Day."
 
This event was also Principal Monica Zanin's first Veterans Day with the school, as she was appointed on Oct. 1 after a 14-year stint with Reid Middle School.
 
"It's so exciting, I'm so thrilled to be in this community," Zanin said, also crediting the teaching staff for making this event possible. "This is just a snapshot of what you see every day."
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