Flag Retirement Ceremony Held at Elm Drive
On Friday, June 18th, Elm Drive and Alden Place Elementary came together to celebrate Flag Day and participate in a Flag Retirement Ceremony. Our very own Doris Zerafa, who served for over twenty years as an Army Reservist and is now one of the district’s food service workers, helped plan and facilitate the ceremony. Through this event, we were able to:
- Honor our flag and educate our students about the history and formal procedures that accompany the Stars and Stripes;
- Show our students how a school-wide community event can be inclusive of many: we had high school students who are local Scouts take part in the flag folding and retirement procedure; a member of the high school band played TAPS; members of the elementary music program were led by our music teacher Heidi Tucci, and members of our kitchen and maintenance facilities orchestrated the whole day.
- Begin a tradition of bringing both elementary schools, Elm Drive and Alden Place, together for ceremonial events to encourage collaboration and participation among all seven grade levels represented by the two schools, from K to grade 5.
We received very positive feedback from students, families, and staff who attended. Those who have worked and taught between the two elementary schools were pleased to see the student body come together as one. We received comments about our students reteaching the proper way to retire a flag to their families at the dinner table later that night. And finally, there was some feedback from Doris Zerafa herself: the day after the ceremony a student in the lunch line excitedly described to her how he taught his mom and dad “the meaning of each flag fold and didn’t forget any!”. “I got chills right there on the line,” Doris stated as she explained to the office staff how a little moment of reaching one child made the whole thing worth it in her mind.
We are very much looking forward to continuing a Flag Day ceremony next year and beyond. We have asked for additional feedback and commentary on how to improve upon this year's ceremony and plan on including additional members of the local school and village community. The location and participants may change yet we will remain true to the event's purpose by having multiple schools come together to demonstrate patriotism and civic spirit.