Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Molly ShoreWaving American flags and singing the...

Molly Shore

Waving American flags and singing the words, “I’m proud to be an

American,” the faces of Emerson Elementary School’s fourth-graders

stirred the emotions of parents and teachers at the school’s annual


Patriotic Day assembly.

“You guys did a fabulous job,” teacher Gilbert Yoon told the group

after the presentation Thursday. “It gave me chills.”

Parent Scott Ehredt, sitting in the front row of the auditorium,


applauded loud and long when the children finished singing “God Bless

the U.S.A.”

Ehredt’s 8-year-old daughter Alyssa, a student in Arlene

Mooradian’s third-grade class, was one of the children who memorized

all 50 states as part of the song, “Fifty Nifty United States”

“She has been singing the song for a couple of months,” her

mother, Brenda Runyan, said. “The song has a lot of words, and she

knows them all.”


Mary Ellen Herndon’s third-graders opened the program as they

marched into the auditorium, each child waving a flag and wearing

red, white and blue hats they had.

The students rehearsed for Thursday’s program for several weeks,

working with an outside group, Music In Action. Additionally, the

third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers at Emerson created and

organized their classrooms’ presentations, he said.

Yoon’s pupil, Sammy Lee, 9, said he was relieved when the singing


was finished. Although Sammy said the words to the songs were easy to

memorize, he spent two weeks of his own time rehearsing for the


The threat of terrorist acts in the U.S. has worried him, Sammy

said, but participating in the assembly was a positive act that made

him feel better.

“It made me feel more comfortable about the war situation right

now,” the youngster said.