Wellborn Elementary School gets symbolic flag

·2 min read

Sep. 10—Soon, the foyer of Wellborn Elementary School will look more patriotic. On Friday, Alice and Randy Boyer presented to the principal the flag that flew over the school on September 11, 2001, the day of the attack on the World Trade Center.

Principal Caryn Watts, the Boyers and Doug O'Dell gathered to reveal the slightly tattered, slightly faded flag, now prized because of its symbolism.

"It's a little tattered like all of us," said Boyer, who is a retired Navy veteran.

His wife, a former teacher who is now a reading teacher at the school, asked for the flag about seven years ago when it was taken down to be sent away and burned, which is the protocol for destroying old flags. She took it home where it stayed until earlier this year.

Her husband was cleaning out a closet and came across it. Then, he called Watts and asked if she would hang it in the school if he and Alice had it framed. Of course, she said yes.

"I am honored they wanted to present this to our school and community," Boyer said. "I had the perfect wall for it."

Just inside the foyer, is a wall on the left that had no décor. The framed flag will fit there as soon as it is hung.

Attending the presentation, too, was the school's former principal, Doug O'Dell, also a Navy veteran who was in combat in Iraq. Prior to attending the presentation, he had a plaque made to place beneath the flag. It reads, "In Honor of the Americans lost on 9/11. May we always be true and never forget ..."

"We have such a tie with the military and have so many folks who have served in every war," O'Dell said, "including my father and two uncles who served in Viet Nam. Whenever we had a patriotic program while I was here, people always turned out."

Boyer said he thinks of the sacrifices made for the American flag whenever he looks at the flag.

"Many men and women have given their lives for this flag," he said. "To me, this one represents the lives lost during 9/11."