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VFW Post 4559 motivates high school students to write and speak about Flag

With the American Flag as a backdrop, Charles Boyd and Alice Ewing of Tyrone’s Veterans of Foreign Wars presented five Tyrone ninth graders with awards for their participation in the Veteran’s Loyalty Day Speech Contest.
Matt Elder won first prize of $100; Cynda Ormsby won second prize of $75; Jordon Campbell won third prize of $50; Ashley Turnbaugh won fourth prize of $25 and Christopher Clark won fifth prize of $10.
To win their prize awards, students had to write a three to five minute speech on this patriotic topic: What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Me.
This past Saturday, May 3, first place winner Matt Elder along with his parents traveled to nearby Coalport to participate in the next level of speaking competition, march in a patriotic parade, and attend a banquet at The Coalport VFW at the close of the day.
Ninth grade English teacher Richard Merryman coached the students for the patriotic speech contest.
“The Veterans certainly chose an appropriate subject for young people to speak about when they offered the topic- What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Me,” said Merryman.
As ninth graders researched the flag pledge, they discovered that it was written by a Baptist minister named Francis Bellamy in August of 1892. On October 12, 1892, the Pledge of to the Flag came into prominence when twelve million public school children from every state in the Union recited the pledge as part of the 400th Anniversary of The Birth of Christopher Columbus.
On June 14, 1923, the American Legion requested that the words flag ‘of the United States of America’ be added to the pledge. On Flag Day 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower approved adding the words ‘under God’ to emphasize the importance of religious faith in America’s past as well as in her future.
“Certainly we thank our local Veterans of Foreign Wars for supporting the young people of this community in their writing and speaking endeavors. We also express our gratitude to these Veterans for increasing our knowledge about The Flag Pledge. That way, the next time we recite the Flag Pledge at a public event, we will not take it so much for granted,” said Merryman.