Peace prevails at Island school

Flag parade
Students are dwarfed by the colorful flags of other nations in the parking lot at AME. - Tom Vaught | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – As conflicts continue in the Middle East and North Korea tries to incite the United States, peace was the subject on the minds of parents, teachers, staff and students at Anna Maria Elementary School Friday morning.

Peace day band
Members of the Manatee High School Drumline lead the march of students carrying flags of other nations. – Tom Vaught | Sun

AME Guidance Counselor Susan Tabicman put together a diverse program under the theme “Together for peace: respect, safety and dignity for all.”

The program began with an introduction from AME Principal Jackie Featherston and Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island’s Judy Rup.

Then came the Manatee High School Drumline marching around the parking lot followed by fourth- and fifth-graders holding large flags from nations around the world. The flags were planted around the school’s Peace Pole, donated years ago by the Rotary Club.

Peace group
Wearing peace symbol hats, kindergartners flash the peace symbol, like some of their grandparents did a half-century ago. – Tom Vaught | Sun

There were speeches and poetry by students and each grade sang a song. At the conclusion of the ceremony, students exited toward the school, walking beneath a huge International Olympics flag held up by other students.

The students might be surprised to learn that the peace symbols of the kindergartners were the same ones used by some of their grandparents to protest the war in Vietnam more than 50 years ago.