Saluting Old Glory

Dana Bennett, a music teacher for the Dunkirk schools, organized a Flag Day ceremony to say happy birthday to the flag. Some children waved flags and others waved a red, white or blue star.

Held Friday morning at the beginning of school, the ceremony included a flag raising by two students, the Pledge of Allegiance songs, and readings.

The students were told the flag was recognized on June 14, 1777 and while it had 13 stripes, there was no regular pattern for the stars. The flag act of 1818 provided for stripes to remain fixed at 13 and having the number of stars match the number of states in the United States.

Bennett told the students the flag would be raised and then lowered to half staff. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of the following three New Yorkers who died in Zarghun Shahr, Afghanistan on June 8, 2013: Lieutenant Col. Todd J. Clark, of Evans Mills, Major Jamie Leonard, of Warrick; and civilian law enforcement training contractor Joseph Morabito from Hunter.

Bennett told the children to think about the flag today and also on July 4 when school would not be in session.

The choir students sang “Fifty Nifty United States” which includes singing through the states in alphabetical order. Bennett promised the younger children that once they were old enough for choir, they would also learn the song.

The students sang Happy Birthday to the flag.

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