r For the second year, the Spanish Fork American Legion Post 68 organized a program to educate fifth grade students in the 18 elementary schools in Spanish Fork and Salem to the legacy of our flag and the defenders of that flag. The 2018 event at the Spanish Fork Sports Park was held on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, May 8 and 9, to accommodate about 600 fifth graders a day. The title of this year’s event was Freedom Walk 2018. It was described as a walk for life, a walk for patriotism and a walk for the love of the freedom we all enjoy. Each student had a t-shirt donated by the Doug Ford family, and the teachers accompanying the students from school wore black MIA/POW t-shirts. Each student was also given a “dog tag” as a remembrance of the day.
Video by SFCN17
The opening ceremony was the raising of the flag to the bugle call (To The Color). A short speech was given about the history of the flag. The Spanish Oaks choir was directed Tuesday by Ms. Ariane Brown and Riverview choir on Wednesday by Mrs. Heidi Bundy sang a medley of patriotic songs representing each military branch. The importance of a soldier was given by quoting the writing of Charles M. Province.
It is the Soldier, not the minister who has given us freedom of religion.rIt is the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press.rIt is the Soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech.rIt is the Soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us freedom to protest.rIt is the Soldier, not the lawyer who has given us the right to a free trial.rIt is the Soldier, not the politician who has given us the right to vote.rIt is the Soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag,rand whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protesters to burn the flag.
rThe students and their escorts dispersed in class groups to walk to seven event stations. The total distance to be walked was over a mile. Five of the stations were staffed by local veterans to tell stories and experiences, a wall of fame with individual stories from student family members from each of the 18 elementary schools, a reminder of Flanders Field Military Cemetery, and the final station was a class photo with a large U.S. flag behind the students.
The closing ceremony was the playing of taps symbolic of honoring a military veteran who has passed away. The students then returned to their school buses with an appreciation for our nation’s soldiers and our flag.