Navy veterans bring Stars and Stripes' story to Wilson Christian students
The Mid-Mon Valley Shipmates shared history and etiquette surrounding the American flag with Wilson Christian Academy students in an early Veterans Day program on Friday.
The organization's members, all of whom served in the Navy, spoke briefly about their own time served during the World War II, Korea and Vietnam eras, but the majority of the program was centered on the red, white and blue.
“We travel to schools all year round,” Barry Anders of Monongahela said. “It's important for kids to understand what the flag means. Patriotism is not a part of the country like it once was.”
Informing students when to stand in the flag's presence and when to place their hands over their hearts, Anders said the Shipmates are teaching not only respect for the American flag, but for the country itself.
“How can we be true to a flag when it is just a piece of cloth?” Anders asked a group of students ranging from kindergartners to fifth-graders at the West Mifflin school. He explained that the flag is symbolic of the nation and its freedoms.
The U.S. flag, adopted in 1777, is the fourth oldest national flag in the world.
Shipmates explained the significance of the union, or blue field, featuring stars that represent each of the 50 states. The 13 stripes — seven red and six white — represent the original British colonies that formed the United States.
First-grade teacher Laura Erb said students have a simple understanding of what the flag means.
“They know the flag is symbolic of freedom,” she said.
“We need to teach the history of what these veterans have been through and how they survived. We need to pay homage and say ‘thank you' any chance we get.”
Patrick Maloy, a Duquesne native who resides in North Charleroi, said being a part of the Mid-Mon Valley Shipmates is one of the greatest things he's experienced. With a background in education, he enjoys addressing student groups.
“This is an important type of teaching,” he said. “Growing up in the '50s, we got these lessons on TV with the early morning shows. The day started with a salute to the flag and the songs of each branch of the military. You don't get that anymore.”
Maloy said it's the responsibility of every American to teach what they can to today's youth to instill a respect for the flag and nation.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge reopens to traffic after electrical fire
- McKeesport council approves mineral rights lease under Renzie Park
- McKeesport honors ‘message’ bearers
- Mon Valley police departments vary on use of heroin overdose antidote
- Ex-Port Vue police chief recognized
- Employee of Elizabeth Township tent rental business struck by lightning in West Mifflin
- Rib Fest highlights holiday weekend in McKeesport
- Company announces it will close McKeesport site that employs 100
- McKeesport council OKs cities plan
- West Elizabeth residents oppose sewage tank plan
- County shuts down Clairton demolition work