School to honor veterans with flag raising, music

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 25, 2016


ST. CLAIR SHORES — A few days before the country remembers those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States, students at Kennedy Middle School will take time to thank veterans with a flag raising in their honor.

Lake Shore Public Schools Superintendent Joe DiPonio, who helped start the tradition about five years ago when he was principal of the school, said that with all the curriculum focus trained on reading and math, “The history of this country gets lost.”

“I don’t think our kids have a firm grasp ... of the sacrifices people made,” he said.

The KMS Student Council will host a breakfast reception for local veterans from 8:45 to 10 a.m. May 27, to be followed by a flag-raising ceremony, a 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, and music from KMS band and choir students. 

“We are having this to honor the veterans and hoping that it would be more of an annual get-together,” said Bryan Sprader, a seventh-grade English teacher and the co-adviser of the student council with librarian Melissa Kubiak. “They are the greatest generation ... putting their life on the line. With my kids, I would want them to be more influenced by them, the sacrifice.”

All students from the school will be in attendance for the ceremony, and Sprader said they want any veteran who is able and wishes to attend to come. He said they have spread the word to the VFW Bruce Post 1146 and are hoping to reach more veterans as well. 

DiPonio said the veterans are a great example of sacrifice to show the students.

“They can see these people who went off as 18-, 19-year-old kids,” he said. “It was a way for us to try and recognize the sacrifices people made.”

Sprader said members of student council will also be reading a patriotic poem during the ceremony.

“I always thought, with student council, that we would be helping more, volunteering in the neighborhood,” he said. “That was always my goal. 

“Through this, hopefully, they’ll get that they can give back, that they can help others, that it’s not just them in this world.”

Veterans wishing to attend the breakfast and ceremony should email or call Kennedy Middle School at (586) 285-8800.