ENFIELD, Maine — To Glenda Crosby, veterans are the community’s most underutilized asset.
That’s why the education tech and other Enfield Station School teachers will have several veterans and U.S. servicemen as their guests in a flag-raising ceremony on school grounds at 7:45 a.m. today, she said Wednesday.
The event is free and the public — including veterans, servicemen and women, and parents of veterans and of servicemen posted overseas — is invited.
As part of the event, Crosby said, U.S. Army National Guard Sgts. Jodi Farley and Hal Whitten will help raise two flags on the school’s flagpole and discuss with the school’s more than 200 pupils and staff the meanings of the flag, patriotism and service in the armed forces.
“It’s important for the children to understand the significance of our flag and what our veterans really have sacrificed for their freedom,” Crosby said Wednesday. “They really don’t understand that yet. It’s terrible to have all these local vets at our disposal and not have them to teach the children about these things.”
A schoolwide chorus will sing the theme songs used by each branch of the U.S. military, and Paul Wallace, a computer technology teacher who plays the trumpet, will perform taps. Alissa Whitten, a sophomore at Penobscot Valley High School of Howland, will also sing the national anthem.
Each flag was flown over U.S. military bases in Afghanistan or Baghdad. They were given to Enfield Station School by U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Vanadeftine, an Edinburg resident and Howland native who graduated from PVHS, and Army National Guard Capt. Jeff Whitten — Hal’s brother — during their service overseas, Crosby said.
The speeches today will complement previous lessons, Crosby said. Pupils have tied yellow ribbons around the school, written letters to soldiers serving overseas, and studied the flag, its creation and its significance, she said.
“We haven’t had any callbacks from parents, but I would like to see a nice turnout,” she said.