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Middletown Transcript
  • Appo School District, veterans to rally round the flag Friday

  • Local students and veterans will mark Veterans Day a little early this year with a dedication ceremony on Friday for a new flag pole at the Marion E. Proffitt Training Center in Odessa.
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    • IF YOU GO
      WHEN 9 a.m., Friday, Nov. 8

      WHERE Marion E. Proffitt Training Center, 118 S. Sixth St., Odessa
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      IF YOU GO
      WHEN 9 a.m., Friday, Nov. 8
      WHERE Marion E. Proffitt Training Center, 118 S. Sixth St., Odessa
  • Local students and veterans will mark Veterans Day a little early this year with a dedication ceremony on Friday for a new flag pole at the Marion E. Proffitt Training Center in Odessa.
    About 50 members of the Air Force and Army JROTC programs at Appoquinimink and Middletown high schools will lead the 9 a.m. flag raising ceremony, which will be followed by speeches from state Sen. Bethany Hall Long, World War II paratrooper and Odessa resident Jerry Unruh and Ray Abbott, commander of American Legion Post 25 in Middletown.
    "We think it's going to be a really nice event that will highlight our JROTC programs, while also recognizing the incredible sacrifice of the men and women in our armed services," said district spokeswoman Lillian Miles, who helped organize the ceremony. "It's always nice when we can bring our school community together with veterans, and hopefully the public will also attend."
    The new, lighted flag pole that will be dedicated on Friday morning replaces a long-unused pole located between the east side of the building and northbound U.S. Route 13 that was reportedly damaged by a vehicle last summer.
    "Jerry (Unruh) lives right across the street and brought up the fact that it wasn't being used during one of our meetings," Abbott said. "Another member mentioned to Bethany Hall Long and within about a week, Superintendent Matthew Burrows agreed to meet with us and graciously agreed to do something about it."
    Prior to being damaged, the flag pole might have fallen into disuse, simply because of its location, Miles said.
    "The Proffitt Center is used for training, so we don't have classes in it or kids there every day and the flag pole is on a side of the building that has no entrances or exits, so I think that probably contributed to it," she said. "But when the American Legion came to us, the superintendent immediately recognized that this is something that needed to be taken care of."
    Abbott said he and his fellow veterans appreciate the district's willingness to plan a special event for the flag pole's dedication in advance of Veterans Day, when schools will be closed.
    "I'm sure a lot of people drive by that pole every day and could probably case less about whether there is a flag on it, or whether it's lit at half-staff or whatever," he said. "But when you've given up a part of your life fighting for that flag and what it represents, it means something and it's important."
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