From left, Larry Cymbola of VFW Post 6462; James Walker of the Monroe County Disabled American Veterans; Larry Brossia of the Sons of American Legion Squadron 72, and Richard Cummings of American Legion Post 72, salute the flag at Dundee Middle School.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
DUNDEE, Mich. — An American flag went up Wednesday in a classroom at Dundee Community Schools, the first school district in Monroe County to receive a flag under new state legislation.
In August, 2012, the Michigan House passed legislation requiring every state public school to set aside time for the Pledge of Allegiance, with every classroom to display an American flag.
“We want the staff and the faculty at Dundee schools to instill in these children what the American flag is,” said Larry Cymbola, commander of the VFW Post 6462.
Mr. Cymbola was among representatives of area veterans’ organizations who conducted the flag-hanging ceremony at Dundee Middle School. Mr. Cymbola and other attendees such as state Rep. Dale Zorn (R., Ida) and Mark Kerr of Dundee have spearheaded the project.
“[The children] look at it, they see red and white stripes, blue field, stars,” Mr. Cymbola said. “What they don't see is the hidden fabric that holds that thing together: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights that lets them do what they want to do, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, and most importantly the souls of thousands and thousands of Americans who have given their lives defending this flag against their aggressors.”
“It was found that many public school classrooms in the state didn't have flags where years ago they did, but throughout the years they became lost or tattered and were not replaced,” Mr. Zorn said, noting that no funding came with the law.
The project to provide a flag to each Monroe County public school classroom was funded by area veterans’ organizations, community groups, and individual residents. Dundee schools will receive 70 flags, each of which will hang in a classroom.
The goal is to complete the project by September, Mr. Zorn said. The new law will take effect with the start of the 2013 school year.
Contributions to the flag project are accepted at all Monroe Bank and Trust locations.
“We thank you and we are privileged to be the first to have the flag installed and we do know how important it is,” Michael Dodge, the schools superintendent, said when he addressed the veterans at the conclusion of the ceremony. “So thank you for doing this for us.”