Students enjoy ‘Star Spangled Banner’ day

By SARALYN NORKUS Staff Writer
Posted 9/18/17

It was on Sept. 14, 1814, that Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to the “Star Spangled Banner,” and 203 years later, students at Blythe-Bower Elementary School enjoyed partaking in their …

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Students enjoy ‘Star Spangled Banner’ day

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It was on Sept. 14, 1814, that Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to the “Star Spangled Banner,” and 203 years later, students at Blythe-Bower Elementary School enjoyed partaking in their own “Star Spangled Banner” Day.

“It’s a special moment at the school,” Principal Dr. Joel Barnes said.

The day has become a 17-year tradition at Blythe-Bower, and it serves as a memorable teaching event for the students, as special guests come to the school to participate.

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland is a yearly guest for Blythe-Bower’s “Star Spangled Banner” Day, and he considers it an honor to be there for it.

“I commend Blythe-Bower school for doing this, and I love coming here every year,” Rowland proclaimed.

“I like this part of education because it teaches the students respect for our flag and our nation and what our flag and national anthem stand for. These kids are going to grow up and be great citizens.”

The visit to the elementary school provides Rowland with the opportunity to share the story and meaning behind the national anthem and flag with the students.

“The Star Spangled Banner is a song that means no matter how many bullets and cannons are fired at us, our flag is still standing and it has for these 200-plus years that our nation’s been formed. I think with this patriotic spirit, it will always fly no matter who tries to attack us,” Rowland detailed.

“The flag is not just a piece of cloth; it represents our nation. It represents the men and women serving in our armed forces, it represents our first responders, it represents the United States at its best: the people who protect us by running to danger while we as citizens run from danger.”

According to music teacher Gloria Scott-Richmond, who organizes the day, the “Star Spangled Banner” day festivities trace back to the National Anthem Project.

“Prior to that, I’d already been teaching the kids the national anthem, and I’ve been teaching since 1989,” she explained.

“It’s always a unit that is important to me, and if you’re in a country, you should know their national anthem.”

Blythe-Bower’s “Star Spangled Banner” Day has earned the school national recognition, as then-First Lady Laura Bush acknowledged it approximately 10 years ago.

saralyn.norkus@clevelandbanner.com

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