First-graders at Southside Christian School in Clayton recently welcomed veterans from the Johnston County chapter of the Forty & Eight. The veterans taught the youngsters about the history, meaning and proper care of the U.S. Flag.
Commander Ken Parker shared famous quotes about the flag, allowing the students to grow in their understanding of the sacrifices made for freedom. The first-graders listened as the veterans folded the flag and explained each fold’s meaning.
Afterward, the veterans handed the flag to elementary principal Jenene Davis as a gift to the school.
The veterans led the students in the Pledge of Allegiance. The men who had served the U.S. in armed forces brought a sense of nobleness to something our students do every day as they stood, saluted, faced Old Glory and recited the pledge with conviction, the school said.
As the veterans handed each first-grader a flag, it was evident the students had grown in their respect for the flag, the school said. Students divided into two rows and waved their flags as the veterans left the assembly.
“The veterans did an amazing job of connecting textbook lessons to real-life experiences,” Davis said. “These gracious gentlemen not only gave of their time in service to our country, they are continuing to invest in the next generation. This was an impactful lesson.”
The Forty & Eight representatives were Ken Parker, who served in the U.S. Marines Corps; Ken Stith, U.S. Navy Seabees; Glenn Creech and Allen Smitheson, U.S. Army; and Gene Karaszewski, U.S. Air Force.