By Shannon Johnson
On Tuesday, January 29, community members gathered together at the Longfellow Gymnasium for an evening of patriotism and unity. “Over these past years, we have suffered tragedy as a nation, endured growing pains and politics, and celebrated successes, great and small. This evening, we put aside any pain and politics to enjoy the thoughts and emotions of being a blessed part of this great American experiment,” said Steve Zachmann of the Matthew Gappa Knights of Columbus as he introduced attendants to the 55th annual Americanism Program.
The theme of 2019’s Americanism Program was “I Am Thankful to be an American”. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the invocation, and the welcome, the air in Longfellow Gymnasium filled with the sound of music as the Baker and Plevna Schools’ choir, the Baker High School Band, and the O’Fallon Community Choir gifted their musical talents to the community.
Before gathering for refreshments, Zachmann ended the night with an excerpt from author Barnabas Piper’s ‘Thankful and Humble to be an American’, “This great nation of which we are a part is our home, yes, but it is a resource, too. It is something that we are tasked to steward and care for and utilize for good. It is not a rank, a status, or a high standing in the world. But it is great. To be given the opportunity to live, work, and serve in such a place as this should not lead us to gloat but to rejoice. It ought not make us proud, but rather it should humble us in thanksgiving.”
The Baker Knights of Columbus Council #6294 would like to thank the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts for their participation in the Americanism Program, to Diane Van Gorden for the programs and to the Baker Schools, Administration and Custodial Staff for the use and care of the wonderful facilities, as well as a special thanks and gratitude to the directors Jill Whiteman, JoDee Hess, Becki Wagnon and Debbi Jo Varner, accompanists, students and community members who bring the joy of music and message to this patriotic event.