Since school began, Stevens Creek Principal Michelle Paschal has had 12 new classrooms with no American flags.
That changed recently when the school secretary's father heard of their plight.
''We've tried to get flags, but because of the rush on flags, we were never able to get them," Paschal said. ''My secretary talked to her father and he said, 'What do you mean you don't have any flags."'
Barbara Kareis, Paschal's secretary, had told her parents Jack and Delores Widdowson about their dilemma, and soon the school received 24 new flags which were donated by the American Legion Post in New Alexandria, Pa. where the Widdowsons are active members.
Paschal said the origin of the flags is particularly interesting since the Widdowsons live in Westmoreland County, which is adjacent to Somerset County where one of the hijacked planes went down Sept. 11.
But the school also needed a new American flag to fly in front of the school - their flag was worn. The Widdowsons again came to the rescue.
Just last month, Mrs. Widdowson buried her brother, Raymond George, a World War II merchant marine veteran. The Widdowsons were presented a flag in his honor, and another large flag was draped across his coffin. They decided it should fly above Stevens Creek.
Mrs. Kareis said she enjoys seeing the flag every day when she comes to work.
''It's a real nice feeling. I wasn't able to go up for the funeral so it's nice to have the flag as a reminder of him."
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