As dawn broke this morning the Kiwanis Club and National Honor Society student volunteers met at a storage unit to unpack hundreds of flags and place them around town. Almost every business, and home in the town has a galvanized ground sleeve to display their flags. Driving up and down the streets looking for a “good shot” was much more moving that I anticipated. My pride in country and community – warts an all – was certainly reinforced. (I need more than an Apple camera to truly capture the scene)
The community – and I mean COMMUNITY; moms, dads, grandparents, city leaders, anyone who can slip away from school or work – meets in the auditorium for a school wide program. I heard the band rehearsing yesterday. The Student Council members and student body leaders were practicing their welcome speeches, invocations, leading of the Pledge of Allegiance, poems and the reading of the names. (I didn’t get to hear this year’s prep, but remember well the effort my kids made to ensure they didn’t stumble over their parts for this event.) Every veteran from our county is recognized, we are blessed to have several in attendance each year, it’s an impressive and moving list of men and women ranging from ninety-plus years old to barely nineteen.
Growing up we didn’t have these kinds of celebrations for our veterans through the school, and it saddens me now to think that in bigger schools or in communities where there isn’t public support for this type of event, the students and veterans miss out on the experience. It’s a wonderful way to say thank you and instill in these young people a deep appreciation for the sacrifices of service.