Image of a blackboard with school suppies in front and text of SLRSD Sunday message, November 13, 2022

Good evening FLRSD,

This past Friday, we recognized Veterans Day and it is my hope that our students and this country reflect on what the day means to veterans and their families and the sacrifices that each hero gave to afford us the freedoms we have. I always worry that too many holidays are seen as  “days off” rather than days of remembrance and reflection and so it was with pride that I watched our AES staff, led by Principal Pineault, on Tuesday morning discuss Veterans Day and ‘plant’ flags around the school grounds. FES and GRAIS wrote thank you cards to our veterans and current military members via Blue Star Mothers and FLMS and ARHS partook in an essay writing opportunity to honor those that served. We as a society must never forget the risks and sacrifices of so many - for our country - and give thanks, not just on Nov 11th, but throughout the year. Educationally we must ensure the lessons taught are relevant, appropriate and impactful. 

As I thought about what to share that best epitomizes the sacrifice, commitment and mind set of our veterans I saw this post (below in blue) which coincides with the story of a Marine that touches me every time I reread it. 

Never say, “That’s not my job”

That oozes arrogance and laziness. Chip in to help with what needs to be done, even if it’s not your responsibility. Do what needs to be done or help someone find the solution. Period.

Even when nobody’s watching.

The post is at the heart of what the human spirit is all about and it is a habit of mind that we are trying to instill in our PK-adult transition students, as well as model with the adults within our school community. We must help, support  and do what is necessary or we are destined to become a siloed society that cannot survive on its own as we all are, in so many  ways, interconnected. Many, many years ago Reverend Martin Neimholler, who was a Pastor in Germany during the Holocaust, gave us the famous “First they came for…” poem that discusses what ignoring others and their needs, would eventually lead to. 

The story below received acclaim recently for not only the commitment of this young marine, but in recognizing the daily habits of those heroes who serve in our military. This marine understood and acted upon everything that was posted and what Reverend Neimoller so poignantly stated. I hope it touches you as it continues to touch me!

A nurse met an active member of the armed forces at the hospital desk who had traveled two days to the hospital.  The nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.  “Your son is here, he has finally arrived,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.

Heavily sedated, he dimly saw the young, uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused.

Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious to her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the requests of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man passed. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her, “Who was that man?” he asked.The nurse was startled, “He was your father, he asked for you and his wallet had a note that you were in the marines. A few calls and here you are,” she answered.

“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.” 

Witha confused look the nurse said “Then, why didn’t you say something when I took you to him”?

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. We learn from day one to take care of each other, regardless of the inconvenience. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed. I came here tonight, in my role within the Marines  to find Mr. Robert Grey. His son was killed in combat, and I was sent to inform him. What was this Gentleman’s Name? “

The nurse with tears in her eyes answered, “Mr. Robert Grey………” 

Author unknown

The next time someone needs you … just be there, whether it takes a moment or longer!

 On behalf of the FLRSD community I want to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all of the sacrifices given by each of our veterans and their loved ones, our current servicemen and women locally and across our country and their families as well as to our first responders and their families. 

Everyday I am empowered by our Principals, Assistant Principals, Faculty, Paraprofessionals, Nurses, Secretaries, Schedulers, Security, SRO, School Psychologists, Special Education Staff, Coaches, Advisors, Maintenance, Custodial and Food Service Staff, IT and Library Media Staff, Counselors, as well as Central Office administration and staff, School Committee, First Responders, Community partners and Town Officials and Employees who simply chose to do what is needed. Rather than complain or say it is not my job while walking away, they step up and do what is best for our students.They are as dedicated as that wonderful young marine and we are lucky to call them, our FLRSD Staff. Thank you! 

 Have a wonderful week everyone, and do a little more than what you might have last week.It will come back to you two fold and make a difference in someone’s life!

 Be well, Be safe and most of all... be in peace


Alan Strauss, Superintendent- 

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