West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – Recently, members of American Legion Post # 90 of South Congaree joined with other veterans, students, and the staff of Fulmer Middle School for a very special ceremony. Other special guests attended the event that was held outside the newly remodeled Fulmer Middle School. Most believe that what was done that cold February day was the final touch that made the new school complete.
On Veteran’s Day 2019, Commander John C. Matthews of nearby American Legion Post # 90 was leaving the school’s campus after a special Veterans’ Day Celebration. The students and staff had invited all veterans, their families, and special guests to receive the attention they deserved. They were entertained with music by Fulmer’s String Orchestra, Chorus,and the Concert Band. Special guests told stories of their service. Each of those seemed to contain a message that everyone could use to remember why veterans are so important to us all. It was, as you can imagine, a very special day!
As Post #90’s Commander Matthews was leaving the school after everything was over, he suddenly realized that the new campus was unfinished. There was no American flag flapping in the breeze. In fact, there was no pole from which it could fly. Right then and there, Commander Matthews knew that had to be remedied!
Matthews contacted the school’s principal, Ms. Megan Carrero, about this dilemma. He told her that he felt the veterans should be the ones involved in obtaining the flagpole and the school’s first American flag to post. She accepted the gracious offer and the project began to roll.
The new pole was already ordered and on its way, but no one had decided where it would go. With the help of the post’s leaders, school and the district’s administrators, a location was selected for the new flagpole. It would be right at the front of the building where the main entrance is located. Since this was now settled, Post # 90 went forward with planning a ceremony to dedicate the pole and a flag.
On the appointed day, people gathered as members of Post # 90’s Color Guard assisted a sixth grader in raising the flag for the first time. A ring of eighth grade students stood behind them in an arch. Reggie Price, a bugler from the Legion, played the tune “To the Colors” on a bugle as the flag was raised for the first time.
Even in the cold, Old Glory looked great flying in front of the school. Lowe’s had donated the flag itself to fly on the newly erected pole. Although the students were enamored with the flag, the veterans truly understood the importance of it being there. They knew how many had been injured or died to protect it and what it stands for, freedom! That day, everyone knew that the school was finally completed.