Why had the villagers occupied the backbenches of the class that day?

In the short story 'The Last Lesson' by Alphonse Daudet, some elderly people  were occupying the back benches on the day of the last lesson as they were attending the French class as a mark of respect for their native language. They wanted to thank the French teacher, M. Hamel, for his significant contribution in teaching their mother tongue to their children for more than forty years.

 
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Because on this day the last lesson had been given by M.hamel in French language. The old villagers who did not give attention firstly to their language, they felt sorry and come to class to last lesson in French's language by m hamel
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yes Yes
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