Stella "The Flag Lady" Waltz speaks to more than 600 students, teachers, parents and veterans during Veterans Day program at Granby Elementary School in Norfolk, Va.
Virginia Beach, VA - November 13, 2015
Hundreds convened for a Veterans Day program at Granby Elementary School Friday. The annual event brought together over 600 students, teachers, parents and veterans to formally recognize the contributions and sacrifices of the country’s servicemen and women. Stella Waltz, “The Flag Lady” and co-owner of Va. Beach-based JES Foundation Repair, was the main speaker. The program’s lineup of student talent included patriotic recitals and musical performances.
Veterans and service members lined the perimeter of the gym, where the program took place, and looked on with pride as children sang “I’m Proud to Be an American” by Lee Greenwood. The room was packed with energetic students from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, eager to watch the performances and cheer on their fellow students. Preschoolers in the front row waved mini American flags as they learned about the importance of respecting Old Glory.
“The Flag Lady” spoke at length about proper flag etiquette and described appropriate behavior when interacting with the flag. She shared a slideshow featuring important historical figures such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Francis Scott Key. During her speech, Waltz acknowledged a gentleman who had immediately removed his hat as soon as the ROTC flag procession began. She maintained that his actions reflect how “it is our duty to respect the flag and take care of it at all times.” Adults in the room nodded in agreement. She also discussed how the various freedoms enjoyed in the U.S. are largely due to the brave men and women who defend the nation.
Waltz, whose father is a World War II veteran (D-Day, Iwo Jima and Okinawa), asked those who serve, have served or have a family member who has served in the armed forces to raise their hand. A majority of the room held their hands in the air. Waltz recognized the veterans that were present by asking them to stand and a round of applause ensued.
‘The Flag Lady’ shares her passion for the American flag with schools, community groups, professional associations and civic clubs. In 2009, she designated her company’s headquarters as a collection site for worn and tattered flags and flag retirement.