Harmon gets replacement flag

 Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle
 Members of the American Legion Post 532 take the flag at Harmon Elementary School out of commission to replace it with a new American flag. Students watched the ceremony as school leaders prepare to give a lesson in American history. 

At an outdoor assembly on Sept. 5, the students at Harmon Elementary School witnessed an event that school administrators called very special and patriotic.

"I have never had the opportunity to see a flag ceremony when I was in school, or out of it, so this is a real treat and experience for all of us," said Principal Shelli Miller.

The experience probably would not have happened if it were not for the substitute custodian, who happened to be a veteran.

One of the custodial duties is to administer the raising and lowering of the American flag each school day, so when he noticed the faded colors, the fraying of the edges and worn look of it, he took his observations to the administration.

"The flag represents a lot of symbolism for the nation, so it had to be just right when we raised a new one," Miller said.

One of her staff members is married to an American Legion member, so when they heard of their predicament, they agreed to donate a new flag to the school, as well as hold a special ceremony for the students.

"We’ll come whenever a school calls us," said Bernie Brogan, commander of American Legion Post 532. "We don’t like seeing unserviceable flags."

In addition to taking the old flag out of commission and raising a new one for the school, the legion members also played "Taps" for the students, but left out one thing that would make the experience unforgettable, but for a good reason.

"For these ceremonies, we bring rifles and fire off three volleys in the air, but we didn’t think it would be suitable for their young ears," Brogan quipped.

Miller said this event came at a great time as Sept. 17 is Constitution Day, where all of the students will be learning about the history of the United States Constitution, and they will be able to recall the events of the flag raising ceremony and its significance.

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