• mem3-2.jpg
    Kneeling L to R: Carolyn Ladouceur, Marelle Mosher, Caden Colburn, Ethan Sartwell, Justin White, Joe Hoadley. Second row: Ryleigh Bruce, Brady Wright, Victoria Bowen, Reeve Applegate. Back Row: Richard Colburn, Alexandra Guillette, Maurice Cerutti.
  • mem4-2.jpg
    Vicky O'Keefe tells the story of one of the oldest graves in Charleston
  • mem2-2.jpg
    Mr. Richard Colburn and Mr. Maurice Cerutti share facts and stories with a group of students.

Charleston Elementary School students learn local history while honoring military veterans

in Charleston/News

CHARLESTON — For over twenty years students from Charleston Elementary School, with the guidance of teacher Vicky O’Keefe and local historian Richard Colburn, have placed flags at the gravesites of military veterans for Memorial Day.

The practice continued on Wednesday.

In the past, the trip was for sixth-grade students only. They would listen to stories of their town from Colburn as well as do some research into local history and the people that made up the town.

In recent years the trip has changed to include fifth graders, as well as Maurice Cerutti.

Sixth graders are now responsible for sharing the stories as they remember them from the previous year and research that they have done. They have the opportunity to browse historical documents as well as visiting the local historical society and questioning Colburn.

The addition of Cerutti has broadened their knowledge as well. He has a binder full of the military stories behind almost all the veterans whose graves are marked with flags.

He also sang some of the songs that soldiers would have sung dating back to the Civil War.

“The trip not only provides kids with a sense of pride in their community, it gives them a sense of pride and respect for their country and the brave men and women we remember when observing Memorial Day,” said Eva Broome, a paraprofessional at Charleston Elementary School.

Are you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.