Schuylkill Elementary – Teach the Children, Veteran’s Day, & POW-MIA flag presentation – posted for Qman

Photo by Sean. Go here for the rest…

The morning started off being just a little bit brisk, a crisp 36 degrees at 8:00am. The LaTaverna parking lot had only one occupant, BluesmanNEPA. Al Philo, BluesmanNEPA, was waiting for a few bikes to show & to his surprise; we had over 20 bikes plus a few cages show up to partake in this special day and ceremony. This was a tri-for. 1st – Schuylkill Elementary was honoring local Veterans on this Veteran’s Day, 2nd – Friends of the Forgotten (along with WWR, Rolling Thunder, and the Leathernecks) were to talk to the student body about the POW-MIA issues, and 3rd – to present, again, a POW-MIA flag to the school, as was agreed upon, when Al retired from teaching after 30 years of service. We arrived at the school and patiently waited at the entrance until Dr. Garritano, Principal, gave the thumbs-up for all to make our grand entrance once the students arrived in the yard to watch. The signal was given & we rolled in, engines screaming, except for my Wing! We roared into the school yard and proceeded to make the GRAND ENTRANCE onto the basketball court. Once there, we did a circle around the court and heard the clapping, screaming/shouting, and flag waving from all the students and teachers. Once we were all stopped, we then gave Dr. Garritano his wish for his students…NOISE, AND LOTS OF IT!!! Everyone started to rev their engines & made all the screaming and clapping disappear immediately. After what seemed endless sounds of pipes, we all went inside to begin the official ceremony. Dr. Garritano spoke for a few minutes, speaking about Veteran’s Day. All students sang and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. He introduced a member of both Friends of the Forgotten & WWR, 10 year old Dash. She told the student body a definition of Veteran’s Day and what it means to us. Following Dash’s talk, Al Philo spoke to the students and proceeded to present the school with a POW-MIA flag. He told them to look for it, starting tomorrow, when they arrive for school. The ceremony wrapped up with a trumpeter playing taps for fallen Veterans’. At this point, all visiting Veterans left the stage, walking proudly and with moist eyes (along with many of us). We were invited to stay for some homemade treats and beverages. Oh yeah, we did not have to be asked twice with this offer!
We mounted up, gave the students an added musical bliss of our pipes and exited the grounds. Upon passing by the front of the school, all riding were amazed & proud to see our presented POW-MIA flag was already flying proudly atop of the flagpole! No, the students will not have to wait until tomorrow to see this flag flying.
Final words: Thank you to all who gave up their time to attend this ceremony. I truly believe all in attendance learned something from today’s Mission!
A few members and friends of our own “Breeze” assisted her in getting back her bike from her misfortunate accident last week. She was feeling better but still a bit sore. Hope to see you soon back riding again with us again, Breeze.