Stiff winds and heavy rain could not dampen the spirits of those in attendance for the dedication of the new flagpole installed at Discovery Day Care in Phoenix.
Veterans representing American Legion Posts throughout Oswego County were joined by representatives of the Phoenix Fire Department, Assemblyman Will Barclay, Jimmy Hayes of state Sen. Patty Ritchie’s office, Executive Director of Oswego County Opportunities Diane Cooper-Currier, and other dignitaries for a moving ceremony that also involved the children at Discovery Day Care.
Head Start Family Advocate Liz Liberti said the flagpole dedication was the culmination of an idea first presented by the Head Start Male Involvement Group.
“We established this group last year as a way for dads, grandpas, uncles, or any significant male of a Head Start child to be involved with their child’s education,” she said.
“While brainstorming ideas, one of the dads mentioned that we did not have a flagpole and since we are a school we should have one,” she said. “When they confirmed they would like to procure one for our site, I began seeking approval and the guys were off to solicit donations.”
American Legion members Tom Mills and Pete Andrew were able to get the county Sons of the American Legion, Williamstown Sons of American Legion Post 1128, Central Square Sons of the American Legion Post 915, the Phoenix Sons of the American Legion and Phoenix American Legion Post 418 to donate money to purchase the flagpole.
Additionally, the Phoenix Sons of American Legion and the Phoenix American Legion Post 418 donated the flag, along with small flags and informational comic books about the flag for distribution to the children.
Parents also received donations of topsoil, mulch, flowers, and other materials for installation of the flag pole from several area businesses.
“This project was totally parent driven and was a great partnership between parents and community. It represented a big part of what Head Start strives to do, engage parents and community!” said Liberti.
Following remarks from Barclay, Hayes and American Legion member Pete Andrew, each child received a flag and a comic book followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, and a rousing rendition of song ‘Wave The Flag Way Up In The Sky.’
American Legion members and the other dignitaries then went outside to place the flag on the flagpole.
“It was a moving ceremony,” added Liberti. “It was remarkable to see the reverence that these individuals have for our flag and the way in which their actions inspired others.”