MADISON – In honor of Presidents’ Day first graders at St. Anthony School presented “We the People,” a play based on President Theodore Roosevelt’s childhood. Nicknamed Teedie as a child, Roosevelt suffered from asthma and was not expected to live an active life.
The day begins outside with a flag raising ceremony performed by the Madison Central High School ROTC Honor Guard. After the flag was raised the national anthem was sung and then all processed into the auditorium for the journey back in time.
The play, written by Charlotte Wilson and Martha Edmonds, is specifically designed for students in first grade and teaches about the Preamble to the Constitution and all the phrases contained in this foundational, historical document. Wilson and Edmonds also provided costumes and props for the performance.
In the night young Teedie’s toys come to life and share history with him and alert him to the fact that one day, despite his asthma, he will grow up to be president. The toys invite friends from history to help explain the preamble.
Cameos by George and Martha Washington, James and Dolly Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and many more take the audience on a whirlwind tour of our nation’s constitution. Throughout the play the children sing patriotic songs familiar to all.
At the end of the play children dressed in uniforms of all five branches of military service sang each branch’s traditional anthem. Veterans in the audience stood when their branch’s anthem played. Many in the audience were moved to tears by the patriotic zeal and flavor exhibited by the children.
A touching moment came at the end of the play when Sergeant James Wayne Mack, a Korean War veteran and mainstay at the school was presented a flag that was flown in his honor over the U.S. Capitol building.