School events teach liberty, citizenship
September 29, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 29, 2011) -- Fort Rucker Elementary School observed Constitution Day and Citizenship Day last week with events aimed at teaching good citizenship to students.
Because Constitution Day and Citizenship Day fell on a Sunday, Sept. 17, the school celebrated a few days later, which made for a week's worth of activities.
"As part of this military community, we are proud to honor our Constitution and celebrate our rights and responsibilities as American citizens," said Vicki Gilmer, principal of the school.
Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, and his wife, Kimberly Crutchfield, visited the school Sept. 20.
The general spent time talking to the students about the American flag and the importance of citizenship and his wife read the book America-A Patriotic Primer, by Lynne Cheney.
The general spoke about the uniqueness of America, both during its founding and in the present day.
"Our country was built by people who were different. We came together and formed a country. The differences we had are what made us great. It's OK for someone to look different from you -- in fact, it's a pretty good thing. I think the strength of our country lies in our differences," he said.
He also explained proper flag etiquette, including the different ways to salute the flag and the symbolism of its colors and design.
On Sept. 21, the school welcomed the "Lady Liberty Live" nationwide Next Great Americans bus tour, a presentation that is provided by the Liberty's Legacy super citizen program. The program provides lessons on freedom and good citizenship, said Chris Rainwater, sound engineer and co-organizer for Lady Liberty.
"I hope that they are excited about starting this program and see the history come to life," said Rainwater.
The event was well received by students and staff, said Gilmer, who also offered her gratitude that the tour stopped at Fort Rucker.
"We would like to thank Mrs. Crutchfield, who helped orchestrate this event for us. Lady Liberty's theatrical performance brought the Statue of Liberty to life -- and the tour's original, high-energy music and video had students engaged from the start," she said.
Gilmer wasn't the only one excited about the week of citizenship.
"The show was funny and awesome. The singing was the best part," said third-grader Taylor Penix.