RIS holds first annual Patriotic Assembly

by Kerrie Good
Ramstein Intermediate School

***image1***Sept. 11 has come to be a day of remembrance for Americans all around the world. For the students, teachers and parents at Ramstein Intermediate School, the day took on additional meaning. On Sept. 11, RIS held its first annual Patriotic Assembly.

In the days leading up to the assembly, students were involved in lessons about Sept. 11 as well as patriotism and heroism. Along with discussions and lessons, Brenda Barbour and Steve Rayburn, RIS music teachers, worked with students and brushed up on familiar patriotic favorites. Some classroom teachers continued this process using the lessons found on educational Web sites. With the election and Constitution Day coming up, the topics were plentiful.

RIS students gathered in the multipurpose room and were joined by parents as well as representatives of the military community, Col. Philip Andrews, the 435th Mission Support Group commander, and Jennifer Greene, from the school liaison office. It was a very colorful sight with most all in attendance wearing red, white and blue. 

The new principal, Stanley Caldwell, made some opening remarks about the many things we, as Americans, have to celebrate. Mr. Caldwell pointed out that in 2007, President George W. Bush proclaimed Sept. 11 as Patriot Day. Mr. Caldwell was assisted by David Dinges, RIS assistant principal, in recognizing the various participants in the program. 

The program continued with a local Scout Honor Guard performing a flag ceremony. The scout group was under the direction of Anna Lilley. The scouts also performed a skit and read a poem about the significance of the flag. The skit culminated with the unfolding of the American Flag.

A third-grade student from Dorla Graczyk’s room, Megan Smith, read a letter written Sept. 12, 2001.

“Reading the letter was fun and made me nervous, but later the letter was helpful to me and to other children as they were feeling sad at the time and it helped the children know what to do to be kind to others,” said Megan.

Children from Kathy Anderson’s third-grade class gave a reading and shared thoughts on patriotism and heroism.

The program concluded with everyone singing “God Bless America” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

“It was a wonderful celebration of what makes our country great,” said Kim Copenhaver, RIS parent. “As a parent and former military member, I am so pleased to see patriotism celebrated in a way that will encourage our children to be future leaders and heroes of tomorrow’s America.”