The 25th Festival Italiano took place in Westport over the weekend. There were carnival games and lots of greasy foods. There was also live music. Emil Stucchio and the New Brooklyn Reunion performed. They sang some oldies, but goodies, which caused me to sing along to quite a few songs. Marc kept shaking his head, as if wondering how I knew the words. My in-laws kept looking over at me, seemingly surprised that I was enjoying myself when the music that was being sung was way before my time.
Suddenly, I heard a familiar tune as I was sitting back in my chair underneath the sky, which had turned to dusk. It was a tune I knew well for it was sung at every Awards Assembly at my school. The words were:
If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom…
Tears welled-up in my eyes as the singers belted out “G-d Bless the U.S.A.” I was transported back to 2004, listening to Kendra, one of my former students, sing “G-d Bless the U.S.A.” at the top of her lungs at the school assembly. As I listened to Kendra sing this song, I wondered why she sang it so loud. Pride, I thought. Must be pride.
None of my other students ever sang “G-d Bless the U.S.A.” with the strength and power that Kendra had when she sang it. Hence, when “G-d Bless the U.S.A.” came on during the concert, I sang aloud as loud as I could, in honor of Kendra.
I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).
I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.