Grayson Denney, Allen Denney, and Principal Derrick Harris watch as the flag is raised
Allen Denney helps set up the American Flag on the pole and tie it off.
The American flag being raised
Principal Derrick Harris shakes hands with Grayson Denney
Every morning, students at Wayne County Schools begin their class time by standing up and putting their hand across their heart and reciting the pledge of allegiance. Students also participate in annual Veteran’s Day celebrations where they pay tribute to local veterans and those that gave their lives for their country. Not to mention an outstanding JROTC Battalion who often participate in flag ceremonies across the campus.
Recently, these efforts seemed to be under-scored at Bell Elementary when one of their students noticed the flag flying atop the outdoor flagpole in front of the school. The flag had become worn and the student and his family decided to rectify the situation.
Grayson Denny, a seven-year-old in Rhonda Ward’s classroom, was being picked up from school by his Papaw Delbert Denny, at the beginning of the school year. “The flag had some little rips in it,” said Grayson.
The second grader thought about the worn flag and told his Papaw, after he got in the vehicle in the parent pick up line. It was not long before Grayson’s dad, Allen Denny, a Sergeant First Class Retired soldier who had served in three tours of duty in Afghanistan and one tour in Iraq from September 1998-January 2016, learned about his son’s observation too. By the next school morning, the family had purchased a new flag and Grayson and his Dad, a 1997 Wayne County High School graduate, removed the old flag and raised the new flag up the school flagpole with the help of the principal.
One motorist who had observed yelled out his car window “way to go” Grayson, as they ran the new flag up the pole.
Bell Elementary Principal Derrick Harris was delighted that one of his students’ had been so patriotic. He commended Grayson and thanked his parent for the contribution and service to the country.
“I’m so proud of Grayson for taking the time to recognize that the flag needed attention and to show respect for it,” said Teacher Rhonda Ward.