St. Linus students place flags on lawn for Labor Day
By Steve Metsch firstname.lastname@example.org August 31, 2014 7:42PM
Students at St. Linus School in Oak Lawn got in the Labor Day spirit on Friday. Each student who donated $3 for "dress down day" had to wear red, white and blue. About $900 was raised for a planned veterans memorial at the school. | Steve Metsch/Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 1, 2014 2:07AM
One by one, students at St. Linus Catholic School in Oak Lawn placed tiny American flags on the lawn outside the building to celebrate Labor Day and our nation’s workforce.
The idea came from teacher Jean Swiecicki, the student council faculty adviser, and Principal Mike Stritch.
“It’s to celebrate the American worker. You’ve heard of him and her,” Stritch said. “We’re trying to reinforce with the kids that the American worker built this country. Let’s celebrate that a bit. Maybe it will come back.”
Also Friday, Stritch allowed students to take part in a “dress down day” in exchange for a $3 donation. Students could skip wearing their school uniform and wear red-white-and-blue clothing.
Stritch got into the spirit, donning a White Sox jersey, circa the early 1980s, with its red-white-and-blue theme.
Students such as eighth-grader Michaela Dillon, 12, of Oak Lawn, took time to carefully place the flags in the lawn, but some flags got bunched together.
“See all those flags clustered there?” Stritch said to the students. “Spread them out. Just pick ’em up and move them around.”
Moments later, two kindergarten classes came out. The little ones enthusiastically tackled the job, running around and placing flags wherever they could.
Swiecicki said the money donated, about $900 on Friday, will go toward the construction of a veterans memorial near the entrance of the school, 10400 Lawler Ave.
“We’re trying to have it done in time for our veterans celebration (in church) on Veterans Day,” she said. “We want to honor the American worker, but our ultimate goal is for our veterans ... to create a brick walkway out to the sidewalk. And on the bricks you can dedicate a brick to a veteran and have those engraved.
Swiecicki said the veterans memorial is a “granite arch that’s being built at Maurice Moore Memorials over on 111th (Street in Chicago Ridge). Engraved in the granite are the symbols of the branches of our military.”