Saturday, November 15, 2014

Manchester students honor WW I Veterans - By Michelle Libby

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of World War I, Sabrina Nickerson’s fifth grade class made and put 96 red poppies in the ground at Manchester School to represent the Veterans from Windham who served in the Great War. 

“My class has been reading about what is was like to live during the time of WWI and what it must have been like for the soldiers who fought in the trenches in the “War to End All Wars.”  We have read  and recited the poem “In Flanders’ Fields” Readers Theatre as well as two other books on the actual experiences of the author of the poem, John McCrae, and why and how he came to wrote this poem,” said Nickerson.  

Pam Whynot, a former kindergarten teacher, was asked to volunteer with the poppy project, along with Foster Grammie Polly Dyer, because Whynot’s granddaughter Grace is in Nickerson’s fifth grade class. After the students cut and assembled the poppies, Whynot wrote one name on each of the 96 poppies for in remembrance of a Windham World War I Veteran. 

At a ceremony held on Monday, the students stood in a line and took turns reading the name of a veteran and sticking the poppies in the ground in front of Manchester School. 

“What an impressive ceremony,” Whynot said. 

The class had studied the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, and read it out loud, a different group of students reading each paragraph. 

They concluded the ceremony by singing “God Bless America”. Whynot gave each student a small poppy of their own to take home. She also donated money to the American Legion Auxiliary, of which she is the president, in honor of the class. 

“It was awesome, so moving,” Whynot said. “The kids were so engaged with their poppies.”

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