Newport school invites community to flag celebration

Posted April 14, 2009, at 8:36 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — A special flag celebration will be held at Newport Elementary School at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 16, and organizer Kitty Mitchell, the school’s guidance counselor, said the public is encouraged to attend.

“This all began when I realized that five of our staff members had children serving in the military in either Iraq or Afghanistan,” Mitchell said.

“I don’t think many of our kids realize the importance of the flag and the sacrifices made in its name,” she said. “Maybe this special event will make them think twice whenever they say the flag salute or hear the national anthem.”

Mitchell said Michael Noyes of Sen. Susan Collins office will attend and will bring a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol. “He’ll bring the flag here and the Nokomis Regional High School Junior ROTC will present it and then it will be given to Jack Clifford,” she said.

Clifford is a music instructor in the Newport school system. His son Alex Clifford is serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan. “Jack will send the flag to Alex, Alex will have it flown over the base at Kandahar, and then it will be sent back here to fly at our school,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell also will provide information about Project Pocket Flag, a national effort to send small folded flags to deployed military.

There also will be a slide show of troop deployments, a discussion of how to support the troops, a flag folding ceremony and refreshments. Area veterans and others are encouraged to attend.

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