(April 1976 issue of the Beachy Banner).

“Please don’t expect too much,” the kindergarten teacher advised. “Children this young…..”

But if you were at the PTA meeting this evening, you saw before you, gaily costumed in wide star-spangled paper collars, over ninety giggling, twinkly-eyed children who squirmed and waved un-self-consciously at their parents. Parents grinned and waved back at them. You knew the teacher was wrong.You were about to see a grand performance.

The children’s eyes focused front row center on three remarkable maestros, who beamed encouragingly at their choral group. The serenade began.

“In the year of sixteen-twenty—“

Their voices rang loud and clear in the auditorium; they knew every word and if a FEW were in a hurry to get through the verses with the greatest dispatch, no one really minded. Yankee Doodle, they sang. America. The Big Corral.

They sang and smiled and their small bodies swayed in time with the music. I’ve Been Working On The Railroad, they sang. Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore. Jimmy Crack Corn.

Our hearts swelled with pride and maybe our eyes were a little misty. Standing before us, singing for us, were over ninety children of different races, nationalities, and religions…here at Beachy we are truly a melting pot. Those sturdy glowing faces before us represent everything that we, in America, believe in.

There Are Many Flags. Glory. This Land Is Your Land. How did they manage to learn so many songs?

Seeing those children tonight I know one of the reasons I take pride in being an American. It is because, here in America, we can produce rosy-faced children, like these, who sang and sang and amazed us all with their delightful performance.
Finally, they asked us, the audience, to stand and join them in singing “God Bless America”.
If you missed the PTA meeting tonight, I am sorry for you. It was a birthday party we’ll always remember.


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