Flag Day at Sunrise
Sunrise Drive Celebrates Flag Day with Flair
Every year, the Sunrise Drive Community celebrates Flag Day in a special way.
The symbol of freedom, the American Flag is the banner under which our armed forces defend our nation, our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. For this reason, Sunrise Drive elementary school selects Flag Day to honor the service of these brave men and women by inviting veterans and active members of all branches of the military to participate in a full morning of festivities.
On June 14, 2019, nearly forty honored guests were welcomed by the members of the Sunrise Drive Student Council to a lovely Breakfast Reception in the Library courtyard. Sitting at the patriotically decorated tables, the guests mingled over the breakfast fair and shared stories and photos with the students, many of whom were relatives.
It was during the formal assembly in the cafetorium that Sunrise Drive Principal Dr. James Foy reminded everyone that a New York City kindergarten teacher originated the concept of Flag Day in 1891—later, in 1916, President Wilson proclaimed June 14th to be known as Flag Day. Dr. Foy also expressed the purpose of the Sunrise Drive celebration: “It is a special day to recognize and show our respect for the flag as well as honor those brave men and women who defend the flag, our country, and protect our freedoms. It is also a day to recognize our students for their community service. To begin our celebration, Ms. Baron will lead our Kindergarteners in our school song (Sunrise Drive, You are the One), and some patriotic songs, which show honor and respect for our stars and stripes.”
Among the musical numbers, the Select Chorus sang the National Anthem, while the Kindergartners sang America, When the Flag Goes By, God Bless America, and You’re a Grand Old Flag. In between the songs, Mrs. Romano’s Fourth-Grade class read short essays “that tied everything together,” explained Music teacher Amy Baron who directed the musical interludes.
Dr. Foy continued the ceremony by presenting for recognition select members of the Student Council who had shown exceptional effort in servicing others. These council students* “researched organizations they were interested in helping. They then presented this information to the group and the following groups were picked. Donations were made to: Matthews Giving Tree, The Diabetes Foundation, The Special Olympics, Team Valentina – Philadelphia Hospital, The David Roben Foundation and Inclusive Sports Fitness. Also this year,” Dr. Foy continued, “the Fifth graders took a tour of ISF (Inclusive Sports Fitness) and presented them with decorated backpacks filled with sensory toys.”
In addition, Ms. Baron played the appropriate Armed Force theme songs when those representing the branches of the military were recognized by Dr. Foy. “We also had special processional and recessional music,” Ms. Baron added, “and of course there was a standing ovation and lots of applause for our honored guests.”
Flag Day at Sunrise Drive proved again to be a very moving event both for the Sunrise Drive community and for the guests who were honored. No doubt this heart-warming tradition will continue next year.
* The following students shared information about these groups: Matthew’s Giving Tree – Grace Cullen; Juvenile Diabetes Foundation – Jamison Holt, Aidan Curran; Special Olympics – Julianna Balsamo; Team Valentine – Gianna Grosso; The David Roben Foundation – Grace Jabour, Leah Babcock, Maddy Anderson, Andrea Hodgkinson, Sophia Vario; ISF(Inclusive Sports Fitness) –Patrick O’Brien, Ethan Heller, Andrew Jacobs