STRONGSVILLE, OH (WOIO) - Renovations at Strongsville High School turned up something that wasn't a part of the master plan. Teachers noticed some classrooms didn't have American flags or the ones that did were worn and needed to be replaced. One call to the American Legion Post 91 in Berea quickly solved the problem.
"The idea of having the flag in the school room is essential," said Bill Smith, a Korean War veteran and member of American Legion Post 91.
He's proud to walk the halls of Strongsville High School and peek into the classrooms where new American flags hang.
"It represents everything that this country stands for," Smith said. "The fact that the children get to see it- it should represent something to them, and I think it does."
The American Legion donated 36 flags to the district. Its members took on the challenge after getting a call from the assistant high school principal.
"We had had a long relationship with American Legion 91, and I reached out to them to see if they might know anybody who would help us provide flags for classrooms," Brian Tumino said. "To my surprise and excitement the contract there Nancy Doutt told me they'd be willing to help in that endeavor."
Doutt said the American flag represents ideals of freedom and sacrifice.
"We always try and support the schools and promote Americanism," Doutt said. "We would like them (students) to be proud of their country and what it represents- and to support our current military and all of our veterans. Almost every single person knows somebody that's either in the military now or has served. It all touches home."
Smith said helping the community is a strong part of the American Legion's mission. He said all members quickly jumped on board. In less than a month, several hundred dollars were raised.
"That's why we're here," said Margie Leopold with the American Legion Riders. "We're representing our country and the good feeling of our country."
Smith said he looks up to today's youth. He greatly admires those deciding to join the military.
"I think the best thing that ever happened is going to an all voluntary military," Smith said. "The quality is much higher. They want to serve. They're very smart too. And with the electronic wars we're in, they're a heck a lot farther ahead than I was. I have trouble with my iPhone."