Celebrating patriotism at Hampstead Central
Hampstead Central School fourth-grader Quinn Calder, 9, sings the "Star-Spangled Banner" at a Veterans' Day assembly held at the school Friday. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)
"They help our community," she said before belting out a flawless rendition of the national anthem and then running over to give her mom, Renee, a big hug when she was done.
"It's really about being grateful to the veterans and showing gratitude," said Cindi Verrill, the school's music teacher and assembly organizer.
"I think it's the culture of the school. The culture of the school is really about citizenship and that comes from the staff and the administration," Verrill said.
Air Force veteran Benjamin Davine, 27, was killed in 2011 when his car collided with a fuel tanker while traveling to work at a military base. Davine's death followed the deaths of Pfc. Matthew L. Bertolino, a Marine from Hampstead who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006, and Army Capt. Jonathan D. Grassbaugh, who died in 2007 in a roadside bombing in Iraq. Grassbaugh was the son of Hampstead Middle School Principal Patti Grassbaugh.
Wearing his dress blue uniform, retired Marine sergeant Brett Cate of Hampstead attended the assembly and then visited his daughter's second-grade classroom.
"The whole town is so patriotic and that's super important to me. I love Hampstead for that reason," Cate said.
"I think it's awesome," she said.
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