St. Michael School students deeply respectful

HINSDALE, N.H.-Carol, my beloved wife of 63 years, passed away on May 8, and her funeral was held May 17 at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. It was a beautiful day and we had a beautiful Mass that ended around 1 p.m.

My daughter and I led the procession that followed her casket to the hearse waiting at the curb. Initially, the hearse blocked the view of anything beyond, but as we approached, we were absolutely stunned to see an almost endless line of St. Michael School students silently and very respectfully standing single file facing the church on the sidewalk along the entire length of the front of the school. They were all wearing white shirts and navy blue gym shorts, creating the most impressive image.

As powerful a presentation as that was, we were moved to tears when the students all blessed themselves as the casket was placed in the hearse.

I tried to show our appreciation with words and gestures of gratitude from across the street, but nothing could convey how deeply we were touched by their presence.

The students stood there in silence, not interacting with one another but directing their full attention to honor the life and passing of one they never met but who they knew deserved their respect. They will be pleased to learn that both of Carol's grandchildren went to St. Michael School many years ago.

I have since learned that the school's annual Fun Run fundraiser took place on the same day, and that explained the athletic unforms they were wearing.

The Fun Run is a longstanding tradition at SMS - our granddaughter has fond memories of participating 25 years ago. The money raised provides financial assistance to students in need.

As I understand it, students secure pledges based on the extent of how much distance they can cover during a one-hour run. The SMS Facebook page reports that the students met their goal, but they have been challenged to meet an even higher one.

If anyone wants to learn more, they can visit saintmichaelschoolvt.org/sms-fun-run.

Our family commends the St. Michael School staff for the values they have so clearly developed in their students. We will always remember and hold sacred the 15 minutes we shared with them on Walnut Street last week.

God bless.

Fred Moriarty

Hinsdale, N.H.

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