Learning about freedomPublished 11:02am Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Ellis kicks off week of patriotism
With the raising of the flag Monday morning, Ellis Middle School kicked off a week-long event focused on the stars and stripes: Freedom Week.
Students and staff gathered around the flag pole and watched color guards from the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. After, veteran Norm Hecimovich led an assembly in the auditorium explaining the meaning behind the American flag, the rights of U.S. citizens and the etiquette surrounding the Pledge of Allegiance.
“The first thing you do is stand up and put your hand over your heart,” Hecimovich said.
The veterans present introduced themselves and announced which conflict they served in and their branch of the military. Hecimovich then discussed how some U.S. military members are prisoners of war or missing in action.
“How would you like to spend the next year in a six-by-six room?” he said. “When you eat lunch today, think about that.”
Students asked a number of questions about Hecimovich’s military career, including what his sleeping conditions were like, which weapons he had been trained to use and whether he had earned any medals. He replied that he had slept on the ground, in tents and in beds; used nearly all weapons in the military; and had earned about 25 medals.
“It was quite an honor to serve my country,” he said.
Most other Freedom Week activities will be done during the week within social studies classes. They will promote citizens’ freedoms in different ways and generate discussion and thought, especially on the cost of freedom.