Elks honor Ambridge students’ reflections on National Anthem
By Greg Brown
Using words like “sacrifice,” “honor” and “unity,” several Ambridge Area students delivered their reflections on the National Anthem at a recent event hosted by Aliquippa Elks Lodge No. 1221.
Six students were honored for their essays on the theme “What The National Anthem Means to Me.”
“It’s hard to imagine what some veterans went through,” read fifth-grader Baylee Padgett. “You would have to be there to understand what they experienced. Their pride and courage for our country is what the National Anthem really means to me.”
“You are able to speak your mind whenever you want,” read fifth-grader Margie Jarsulic. “You can always bring your own comments into a conversation without penalties.”
“The National Anthem shows me that every day I wake up, I have wonderful things to see and opportunities that people in other countries may not be exposed to,” read seventh-grader Alex Fetkovich.
“It also gives you a boost to keep going on in times of stress and sadness.”
Democracy and freedom of religion were highlighted by sixth-grader Dalton Brandt. “We can choose who we want to be in charge,” he read.
“Some countries must follow a religion against their will. I am very happy to be free.”
“I remember how soldiers fought in wars,” read sixth-grader Thomas Holcomb. “The wars were bloody and violent.”
“Our flag and country have survived for long times because of the people in the military who have protected us,” read seventh-grader Elias Shingleton. “We should have pride for our country.”
On hand to award the students were Beaver County commissioner Tony Amadio and state Rep. Rob Matzie, who reflected on the “fine leaders of the future” gathered at the event. “I think we’re in pretty good hands,” he said.
The Aliquippa lodge is part of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a uniquely American fraternal organization that has long supported America’s veterans, its flag and the spirit of patriotism.
Learn more about the local lodge by visiting www.aliquippaelks.org.
In rear, from left: State Rep. Rob Matzie, Ambridge teacher Sheela Koda, Beaver County commissioner Tony Amadio, Elks West District Deputy Walter Wieczorek Jr., and Aliquippa Elks Exalted Ruler Merle Conrad. In front, from left, Alex Fetkovich, Elias Shingleton, Margie Jarsulic, Baylee Padgett, Dalton Brandt and Thomas Holcomb.