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The Americanism Program, a local celebration of patriotic service for more than 50 years, has been placed on hold, possibly for months or the entire year.

A year ago, it was held at Longfellow School. The theme of the 2020 version of the Americanism program held in late January was women who have served the country.

It also brought together more than 90 students and 17 men performing for more than 120 people in the audience Jan. 28.

However, the 2021 event has been postponed, according to one of the organizers, Wayne Mangold.

He cited the current pandemic as the reason for postponing the event and said it could be planned for later in the year or pushed back completely to next year, depending on the situation.

The program has been held for the past 56 years.

For the 2020 master of ceremonies, the longevity of Americanism program has been surprising.

“It is remarkable that such a program has been presented annually over the course of 56 years! It is an honor that the Matthew Gappa Knights of Columbus Council 6294 in Baker has been able to carry on this tradition which was begun by the Sandstone Lodge Masons in 1964. It now seems a long time ago but I learned some of our current members of the O’Fallon Community Men’s Choir performed as high school students back then. We’re so glad we can continue this legacy for today’s students! The music students and their directors of Baker and Plevna and the O’Fallon Men’s Choir have contributed so much time and effort in making the Americanism Program possible and bringing a celebration of American Patriotism to our community,” he said after the 2020 event.

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