For seven years, Mike Smith has taught local sixth graders an important historical lesson. Each year, the Edgecomb selectman has organized a special event where Edgecomb Eddy sixth graders plant flags for fallen veterans at North Edgecomb Cemetery. The town ordered 200 American flags this year to place an on estimated 165 veterans’ graves at North Edgecomb, Evergreen, Highland, Union, Ancient and Chase cemeteries. Smith began the tradition shortly after being elected.
“I was trying to connect the school with town government,” he said. “I wanted them to appreciate that they are a part of the town and I’d love to see these little guys become adults and live here,” Smith said.
On May 19, Laurie Brown’s sixth grade class and Principal Tom Landberg guided students in the ritual. Smith provided a map for locating each veteran’s grave and a flag. Sixth grader Jeffrery Buck planted the first flag on Civil War veteran William Baker’s grave. The tombstone reads “Here lies William Baker who died in Christian peace in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the service of country July 24, 1863.”