Pelham Elementary School Receives the One True Symbol of Freedom for All Americans
March 3, 2017
by Len Lathrop
Pelham Elementary students school wide joined in the dedication of a flag centerpiece to their main hallway. The ceremony was simulcast making it a reality for every student in the school.
The project was a suggestion of former PTA president Kristen Rodrique, who after countless mornings, watched students stop to do the Pledge of Allegiance and saw that they had no flag to stop and reflect upon. Cindy Chamberlain contacted her friends and fellow members of the John H. Hargreaves Memorial Post 10722 Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW and Auxiliary to see if they could help.
The VFW and Auxiliary offered to donate four hanging flags for the common areas and a large framed flag for the main hallway. The flag frame was created by VFW member Ted Luszey. Pelham resident Jennifer Cote designed and constructed the plaque below the flag.
Madeline Dreusicke, from the VFW Auxiliary, spoke to the students. “Americanism is an unfailing love of country; loyalty to its institutions and ideals; eagerness to defend it against all enemies; undivided allegiance to the flag, and a desire to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
“There is no great symbol that embraces all of this and more than the American flag … honor it, respect it and most of all pledge your allegiance to it for it is the one true symbol that stands for freedom for all Americans.
On behalf of the John H. Hargreaves Memorial VFW Post and Auxiliary it is our honor to present the Pelham Elementary School with these flags.”
First grade Teacher Patricia Zube offered a poem she at composed for the dedication:
by Patricia Zube
A banner so bright, so bold and so true,
Our flag stands for freedom, our red, white and blue.
With pride we display her, for everyone’s sake.
She tells of the lives that were given to make
Her veterans proud. They will never forget
How some lost their lives to settle a debt.
With memories keen of comrades in arms
They fought for this flag and kept it from harm.
For freedoms they earned, sacrifices they knew
They gave it their all for the red, white and blue.
Whether flying up high or folded up tight
Our flag is a symbol of justice and might.
She tells of the lives that were given for all
Their blood that ran red when they answered the call
Their young hearts so pure like white lily petals
With uniforms blue or green pinned with medals
With hands on our hearts we pledge every day
And love what we see, our flag on display.
As we pause to remember how lucky we are
To live in this country, for each state a star.
As we pass through these halls, let each citizen pause
To give thanks for “Old Glory” and her glorious cause.
Pelham Elementary School PTA president Danielle Pilato closed the celebration with a quote from President Ronald Regan. “When we honor our flag we honor what we sand for as a Nation – freedom, equality justice and hope.”