Pendleton Elementary takes part in Lions presentation

By Loreen Berlin

Each year, near Flag Day and before school recesses for summer vacation, the Buena Park Noon Lions Club presents a Flag Day program for 4th graders at Pendleton Elementary School, which totaled approximately 50 students this year.

Students and teachers are not only given the opportunity to hear what the Lions have to say about the American flag, but to actually take part in the program by reading various portions of the program, and this year, all speaking parts were performed by the students, with the exception of “I Am the Flag—My Name is Old Glory,” written and permission granted for use by Howard Schnauber, which was presented by Pendleton Principal Rich Rodriguez, who serves in the United States Army Reserves.

And for the past few years, professional violinist and founder of the GATE Music Program in the Anaheim School District and now, Centralia School District, contributes patriotic music throughout the program.

The event is coordinated by 4th grade teacher Lynn Sipes; the other 4th grade teacher this year was Keith Quijada.

Student readers give a brief description of the history of the American flag, flag etiquette and flag code; dates to display the American flag, along with singing the national anthem.

At the end of the program, each student is given a small American flag to take home, with a description of the flag, compliments of the Buena Park Noon Lions Club.

Students salute the flag each morning in their own classrooms, as millions of boys and girls throughout the nation repeat the same words as they do: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Students learn facts about the flag including that the American flag has three distinctive colors of red for courage, white for liberty and blue for loyalty.

The flag has seven red and six white stripes for a total of 13 stripes. The 13 stripes stand for the original 13 colonies, which became the 13 original states of the United States.

The blue field has 50 stars, which stand for the 50 states.

The 49th and 50th states admitted to the Union were Alaska as the 49th on July 4, 1959 and Hawaii, the 50th state, on July 4, 1960.

At the White House in Washington, D.C., and at the State Capitol buildings, the American flag flies each and every day.

The Flag Day presentation was brought back to life in the Buena Park Noon Lions Club by former President Joe Rodehaver in 2008 and continues today. Rodehaver, who retired a Captain after 30 years of service in the U.S. Navy, got the program going once again after it was dormant for a number of years.

“I have a love and respect for my country and the flag, which symbolizes our freedom and the way of life we enjoy every day,” said Rodehaver. “That’s what prompted me to re-establish the Lions Flag Day to honor that deep credo and to hopefully educate children about what the flag means to all of us as Americans.”

Duty, honor and sacrifice. It is sometimes said that heroes are hard to find, but people who understand the meaning of duty, honor and country, need look no further than those who fight for freedom and democracy every day so all Americans can be free and enjoy freedom.

You might ask, where did the people come from who made America possible and what did they want? They wanted freedom of religion and to live as they chose; not to be dictated to.

They wanted freedom.

Once again, special patriotic music was provided by professional violinist and music teacher Julie Metz who founded the GATE Music Program.

Programs were printed courtesy of Printmasters in Los Alamitos, especially for the Lions Club.

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