Editorial: Week's end

May. 17, 2013 @ 05:40 PM

Perhaps the most touching point of Thursday’s patriotic song-and-speech rally at Hillandale Elementary School is that some of the nearly 100 third graders who performed weren’t born in the United States.

And many of those who were born here came from families that originated elsewhere.

Yet they were among the students who sang the loudest, pouring their hearts into every word – even if they haven’t yet mastered the language.

As The Herald-Sun reported, 10-year-old Rosanna Courtney was adopted about a year ago from a Chinese orphanage.

“I’m very happy to be in the U.S.A.,” she said. “I’m still learning English and still learning to read. I don’t miss China.”

Her friend Ebenezer Antwi is an 8-year-old who came to the United States from Ghana last year. He too seemed thrilled about the chance to wave the flag and sing “Yankee Doodle” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

China, Ghana and Egypt are just a few of the countries and cultures represented in the halls of Hillandale, said Principal Sandra Bates.

Third-grade teacher Sarah Gill prized the opportunity to encourage patriotism while educating.

“It’s really important to make the kids aware of our country and all the liberties we enjoy,” she said.

This week’s end, it might be easy to feel cynicism about our government leaders and scandals about the Internal Revenue Service (among others), the state of our still-recovering economy and a decade of wars around the world that may have done far more harm than good.

But seeing all these children gathered to sing the praises of a country some of them adopted rather than inherited – like so many of our ancestors did centuries ago – can have a curative effect.

That youthful enthusiasm, unbridled by long years of watching politicians misbehave, can be contagious.



Ben Griffin. Seriously?

This kid’s only a junior at East Chapel Hill High School, but he’s already a two-time state golf champion and on Thursday he advanced to qualifying for the U.S. Open Championship.

He shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 at Forest Oaks Country Club for that step closer to a potential appearance in Ardmore, Pa., next month.

That came just two days after he posted the lowest total score in 4-A state tournament history at Pinehurst No. 8.

Nothing short of astonishing. We can all say we knew him way back when! We wish him great success.

Safe to say, he has earned this week’s Grit Award.