ROY -- Saying the Pledge of Allegiance was extra special for Roy Elementary students on Friday afternoon as they gathered around a crisp, colorful new U.S. flag waving on the flagpole in front of the school.
Students spent the afternoon retiring an old tattered flag that took a beating during the December wind storm and witnessed a special flag presentation, thanks to the Veterans of Foreign War and the student who made it all possible, 10-year-old Broocklyn Atwood.
"The principal came to our class and said we had a problem. We needed a new flag," Atwood said. Principal Linda Anderson visited each fifth grade class because one of their focuses of study this year is United States history.
"The students have been learning about the flag and what it means and how to take care of it," Anderson said. She asked the students to help solve the problem of how to get a new flag and asked them to write a paper with ideas on how to get one.
Atwood, a member of the junior auxiliary of the VFW, knew just what to do. She went home that night and called her grandmother, Connie Edmison, and told her about the flag problem. She also talked to her grandfather, Stephen Edmison, a past post commander for VFW 481 in Ogden.
"He said, 'Darlin', we can get you a flag,' " Connie said of her husband, a Vietnam war veteran.
"I was excited because I knew the veterans and knew we could get a flag," said Atwood, all smiles in talking about the conversation with her grandparents. The VFW donated the flag to Atwood and she in turn donated the flag to the school.
The student body watched and listened in silence as some of the essays about the flag were read as several Cub Scouts retired the old flag.
Once the flag was passed over to Atwood and she passed it to Anderson, along with a poem, the student body responded with cheers, clapping and high fives.
Atwood wore a blue sash she had received as a member of the VFW Junior Auxiliary, a volunteer group for young girls who serve veterans by visiting at the veteran's home and making crafts and gifts for them. Atwood proudly showed off the nine jewels on her sash representing the nine badges she has earned for service with the VFW.
Once the flag was officially donated, the fifth-graders watched as Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts raised the flag. Students once again stood quietly with hands over their hearts as the new flag was slowly raised.
Garhet Thomas was one of the scouts who helped raise the flag.
"It looks pretty good," he said as put his head back and looked up at the flag. "It's not like the tattered and torn flag with the color faded. It felt pretty good doing it."
Anderson was proud of her students and the way they handled the afternoon. She was surprised and pleased when Atwood came back so fast with the flag donation.
"I loved it, it was great," she said. "I love having the VFW guys here. The more we can have kids doing these types of things, the better off they are and we are."