By Galen Putnam, Army Sustainment Command Public AffairsSeptember 14, 2012
MOLINE, Ill. -- An Army Sustainment Command employee's simple gesture turned into a celebration as a donated flag became the centerpiece of a local school's 9-11 remembrance ceremony Sept. 11.
Paul Levesque, a public affairs specialist with ASC, recently received a U.S. flag that had flown ceremonially over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to mark his 30 years of government service. Without a flagpole at home, and not wanting the flag to just sit on a shelf as a keepsake, Levesque offered the flag to the Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline, where his children had attended as youngsters.
"I thought it would be a nice thing to do," Levesque said. "I figured a school could always use a new flag. The best part is since I can't fly it at home, I can see it when I pass by the school. I'm glad it will be put to good use."
Although the timing of the donation originally had no special significance, Jane Addams Principal Teresa Landon saw an opportunity and decided to raise the flag for the first time at the school's 9-11 remembrance ceremony. As students, parents, faculty members and guests looked on, members of Moline American Legion Post 246 raised the crisp, new flag to the peak of the flagpole, then lowered it to half-staff to honor those who perished on 9-11. Attendees then said the Pledge of Allegiance to cap off the ceremony.
"Our flag was getting a bit tattered, so the timing was perfect," Landon said. "This was a special day, a day that really reinforced what's important. After the ceremony I had several students come up to me and express they really liked the new flag. We are very grateful to Mr. Levesque for his thoughtfulness."