For students at Desmond T. Doss Academy in Lynchburg, a field trip turned into an opportunity to hold a piece of American history in their hands.
Benjamin Minnix and Dominic Baum are 8th graders at Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy, who know a thing or two about the proper way to fold an American flag. Their flag folding skills were put to the test several weeks ago, during a school field trip to Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Teacher and Principal Stephen Doss says his class was on the final tour group of the day, when the Park Ranger spoke up. Doss recalls, “So at the end, he says, ‘Would the student leader come and see me?’ And I went ‘Uh-oh!’.”
Instead of being in trouble, the park ranger offered to let students help lower and fold the special flag flying over the fort. A replica of the original Fort Sumter flag, with just 33 stars, that was flown over the fort at the end of the Civil War in 1865.
Benjamin Minnix was surprised at the sheer nature of the flag, saying “I thought it was a normal 50-star flag. When I found out it was a 33-star flag, I said “Wow, cool! We get to take that down.'” Dominic Baum agreed, saying “This flag is not going to fly for another 50 years. Yeah, it was a really big honor, and it was really big, too.”
It’s a big honor that Doss and his students all say will stick with them for a long time. Doss says of the trip, “I will guarantee you my kids will remember more about Fort Sumter actually being there walking around, as opposed to reading about it in a textbook.” Minnix agrees, even adding “I’m thinking, when I’m older, I think I’ll go back to Fort Sumter, and see how the old fort is holding up!”
The flag the kids folded won’t be flown over Fort Sumter again until 2065. Stephen Doss tells ABC-13’s Dave Walls that just days before the trip, he took his class to Appomattox to experience the Sesquicentennial events. Doss says when he told that to the park ranger at Fort Sumter, the ranger replied it looks like his kids were meant to be at the Fort for that important occasion.
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By Dave Walls, www.wset.com