Lakewood celebrates flag, military
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 by Matthew Girard
There was no denying Lakewood Elementary School's patriotism last Thursday.
Combining the school's annual "Old Glory Day" ceremony and greeting the riders of the Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge, students, teachers and parents celebrated the service of the armed forces.
Old Glory Day has been a tradition at the school for more than 20 years, teaching students about the flag and the service of the men and women in the armed forces. The day also includes musical performances and presentations by students in the playground area of the school, with numerous parents on hand to watch.
"Old Glory Day has been a tradition at Lakewood for more than 20 years," Lakewood counselor Leah McGuire said. "During the day, the kids learn about flag etiquette, about having respect for our armed forces and it's something they look forward to because the get to be outside."
This year, the celebration was moved to coincide with the numerous riders with Ride 2 Recovery making a lunch stop at the school. Ride 2 Recovery is the annual bike ride through the state of Texas and is designed to benefit mental and physical rehabilitation programs for our country's wounded veterans.
"Since we combined it with the Ride 2 Recovery, it's even more special," McGuire said. "Last year when they came, it was after we had already had Old Glory Day and we realized that was what Old Glory Day was all about. It makes more of an impression on the kids when they see these men and women who have fought for our freedom and liberty."
Rider Patty Collins, who is active duty stationed at Fort Hood and is an amputee, said stopping at Lakewood was exciting.
"We had a great send off and coming into Belton, especially being a local girl, the kids coming out and supporting us was really special," Collins said.
Rider Charles Davis, who is also stationed at Fort Hood, said it warmed his heart to see the students parading around the playground and clapping for the riders as they came in and headed back out on the road.
"To see our young Americans out here supporting us is huge," Davis said. "It feels real good to see all the kids out giving us support."
The Ride 2 Recovery event began on April 16 in San Antonio and ended on Saturday in Arlington.
Collins has been riding every year since the event began.
"To watch it grow over the years and with the community support, it's great," Collins said. "It's a great initiative."
For more information about Ride 2 Recovery, visit www.ride2recovery.com.