Belinda Rivard, a second grade student at Margaret Chase Smith School in Sanford got a hug from her grandfather, U.S. Navy veteran Ron Rivard, at a special ceremony at the school honoring veterans Wednesday. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

Belinda Rivard, a second grade student at Margaret Chase Smith School in Sanford got a hug from her grandfather, U.S. Navy veteran Ron Rivard, at a special ceremony at the school honoring veterans Wednesday. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

SANFORD — Little voices rose in song in a rendition of the military medley Wednesday, as students at Margaret Chase Smith School honored veterans.

The morning assembly, an annual event at the K-3 school on Twombley Road, began with  the color guard of the Navy Junior ROTC program posting the colors outside. All the little ones placed their hands on their heart to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, it was inside to the gym for a program.

Students at Margaret Chase Smith School in Sanford recite the Pledge of Allegiance on Wednesday as part of their annual salute to veterans. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

Students at Margaret Chase Smith School in Sanford recite the Pledge of Allegiance on Wednesday as part of their annual salute to veterans. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

Friday is Veterans Day in America and for many years the school has taken time to mark the event. Students sing, recite what Veterans Day means, and wind down with a patriotic tune, a thank you to veterans for their bravery, and a big “Hurray.”

“Thank you for your service, Margaret Chase School Principal Chuck Potter told veterans, “and for your continued service,” he said to those currently serving.

Several veterans attended, smiling as the children spoke and sang.

The event is among others that have already taken place or are upcoming in the Sanford area to mark Veteran’s Day.

On Monday night, the Vet Center held a candle-lighting ceremony, and on Friday, beginning at 9 a.m., veterans will place wreaths at the memorial in Central Park in Sanford and at the memorial near the gazebo in Springvale, followed by a ceremony at Sanford Veterans Memorial Gymnasium at 11 a.m.

The Elks Lodge, 7 Elm St., hosts a Veterans Day ham dinner 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, where veterans dine at no charge; for others, the cost is $10.

At the school, U.S. Navy veteran Ron Rivard and his wife, Rita, were among those attending. Rivard exchanged a high-five with his granddaughter, second-grade student Belinda Rivard, sporting a Navy hat, filed into the gym with her fellow students.

What did Rivard think of the ceremony?

“It’s great to expose the younger children to veterans,” he said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]



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