By ABBY SLANKER
Hilltop Elementary School third-grade students paid tribute to famous Americans, past and present, during the school’s 28th annual Famous Americans program May 29.
Each third-grade student was dressed in a costume to portray a famous American figure of his or her choice. The students researched their choice, wrote a speech about him or her, created a costume to wear during the program and completed a poster on their famous American.
The students chose a wide range of famous Americans, from entertainers to presidents, singers to athletes, stage and screen legends to inventors, artists to authors and military heroes to astronauts.
Some of the famous Americans chosen by the students included Francis Scott Key, George Gipp, Honus Wagner, Clara Barton, Benjamin Franklin, Sacagawea, Walt Disney, General George Patton, Martha Graham, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Wilbur Wright, Abraham Lincoln, Sandra Day O‘Connor, Abigail Adams, Steve Jobs, Ruby Bridges and Julia Pierson.
Each student was dressed in a costume to portray a famous American figure of his or her choice. The students researched their choice, wrote a speech about him or her, created a costume to wear during the program and completed a poster on their famous American.
To start the show, the Parade of Flags was presented. As a carrier and a guard escorted the flag down the aisle, a narrator gave the history of each flag. Flags presented included Continental, Gadsden, Grand Union, Betsy Ross, St. George’s Cross, King’s Colors, British Red Ensign, Bennington, Star Spangled Banner, Perry’s Flag, Alamo 1824, Bunker Hill, Rhode Island Regiment, Fort Moultrie, Stars and Bars, Confederate Battle, “48 Star” and Old Glory.
By class, each student took his or her turn at the microphone to give the speech written, which included facts which identified his or her famous American, as if the famous American were speaking.
After each class had finished their speeches, the students joined together to sing, led by music teacher Tom Scurich and accompanied by Roni Sue Gregory. Songs included “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Sing a Song of Peace,” “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” “Fifty, Nifty United States,” “Armed Forces Salute,” “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.”
During “Armed Forces Salute,” Scurich asked members and veterans of the armed forces to stand when their branch of military anthem was sung.
“Good evening and welcome to our third-grade Famous Americans program. Our next selection is a tribute to the armed forces. It has become a very meaningful and wonderful tradition here at Hilltop. I would like to invite our honored veterans in the audience to stand when the anthem which represents your branch of the armed services in which you served is sung,” Scurich said.
Before the “Armed Forces Salute” commenced, Scurich asked for a moment of silence as the POW/MIA flag was presented.
As each anthem was performed during the salute, students presented the Army flag, Coast Guard flag, Marine flag, Air Force flag and Navy flag.
The third-graders also paid tribute to retired teacher Sue Martin, retired school secretary Madalyne Pauley and retired custodian Jerry Cope.
As a grand finale to the show, during their final musical selection, the students unfolded and held up red, white and blue strips to form a giant paper American flag, much to the delight of audience members, triggering a standing ovation.