Showing Our Colors

Students from Southridge and Perry Central high schools displayed a large American flag on the basketball court during the playing of the national anthem at the start of the Class 2A boys basketball sectional at Memorial Gym in Huntingburg on March 1.

Photos and text by Dave Weatherwax

For some, the flag is a symbol of freedom. For others it may bring to mind democracy or the individual rights we have as Americans.

For Ireland Elementary School fourth-grader Bennett Schmitt, the flag is a reminder of the men and women who risked their lives to protect the freedoms we are afforded as American citizens.

Ireland Elementary fourth-grader Bennett Schmitt joined his classmates in saying the Pledge of Allegiance on May 7. His winning flag essay is reprinted on this page.

Each year, area fourth-graders are given the chance to share the importance of the American flag in their lives through the American Legion Flag Testing program, sponsored locally by the American Legions in Dubois County. The students are taught the importance and history of the flag and then they are tested on that information and asked to write essays to answer that very question: What do you think about when you see our country’s flag?

Bennett’s reflections in his essay made him the contest winner at his school. His essay went on to win the county, 8th District and state contests.

In honor of the Stars and Stripes during this long Independence Day weekend, we share with you photographs of the flag we’ve taken in the past year and Bennett’s essay:

“When I see our country’s flag, I think about the men and women who have served the country and risked their lives to give freedom to the people of America. I see the flag all of the time and think of all the freedoms we have such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom to vote and choose our state and country representatives. Our country has these freedoms because we have men and women in our country who are considerate and unselfish that would do almost anything to help, protect and fight for our country’s freedom. When I see the flag I think of the Pledge of Allegiance and ”˜The Star-Spangled Banner’ and I always think of how proud I am to be an American. That is what I think when I see our country’s flag. What do you think about when you see our country’s absolutely astonishing flag? I think fondly about our country’s flag. I think you should think the same.

World War II veteran Cletus Lubbehusen of Ferdinand prayed during a Mass offered at St. Henry Catholic Church on May 26 in honor of deceased veterans.
Jasper High School seniors cheered on the Wildcats during the Aug. 24, 2012, football matchup with Southridge at Raider Field in Huntingburg.
Jasper High School senior Emily Beckman cheered for the Wildcats during the Aug. 24, 2012, football matchup with Southridge at Raider Field in Huntingburg.
Charlie Dupps of Jasper and American Legion Post 147 placed flags at each veteran’s grave at Fariview Cemetery in Jasper on May 23 in observance of Memorial Day.
Members of the Southridge High School baseball team lined the first-base line during the playing of the national anthem at League Stadium in Huntingburg on May 28.
Celestine Elementary School students gathered outside of the school as the procession carrying fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Alec Terwiske arrived on Sept. 14, 2012.
A Marine carried the flag that draped the casket of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Alec Terwiske before handing it to the family at St. Celestine Cemetery on Sept. 14, 2012.
Jasper Engines & Transmissions employees Dan Gilmore of Bretzville, left, and Ed Oser of Jasper attached the giant flag to its pole outside the business May 23.
An American flag quickly disappeared in the flames June 8, 2012, following a ceremony for the dignified disposal of flags at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds.

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