West Seattle back-to-school 2013: Schmitz Park Elementary’s flag ceremony, with new plaque from the Schmitz family

(Photo courtesy Eric)
It is a stirring first-day-of-school tradition at Schmitz Park Elementary – a flag ceremony that includes members of the school’s namesake family, who donated the land on which it was built as well as forested Schmitz Preserve Park nearby, and other West Seattle treasures.

(Photo courtesy Sean)
This year, not only did the family present a new flag, but there’s also a new plaque on the flagpole, presented by descendants of Ferdinand and Emma Schmitz.

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Here’s the text, shared by Vicki Schmitz Block:

In honor of Alan F. Schmitz, a new flag is presented to Schmitz Park School by the Schmitz Family.

Alan F. Schmitz (1934 – 2012) attended the opening day/flag raising ceremony at Schmitz Park School for over 30 years, representing the Schmitz Family, who donated the land for this school.

This tradition began in 1962 when the school building opened. At that first opening-day ceremony, Alan’s father, Dietrich G. Schmitz (1890-1970), participated for the Schmitz family and for many years thereafter.

Today, Alan’s son Dietrich Schmitz continues this wonderful and historic tradition, providing a link between West Seattle’s rich history and today’s children at Schmitz Park School.

(Added 11:43 am) Here’s Dietrich Schmitz at this morning’s ceremony with SP principal Gerrit Kischner:

(Photo courtesy Sean)
P.S. We’re continuing to receive WSB readers’ back-to-school photos from all over West Seattle – editor@westseattleblog.com – and will be assembling a gallery later today. Thanks!

ADDED 8:48 PM: Clay Eals from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society also was there this morning, and has published comprehensive coverage – including video of Dietrich Schmitz’s speech – on the SWSHS website. You can see it all here.

7 Replies to "West Seattle back-to-school 2013: Schmitz Park Elementary's flag ceremony, with new plaque from the Schmitz family"

  • george September 4, 2013 (11:12 am)

    Thank you Schmitz Family for such a wonderful location for our school. May the tradition last forever.

  • kate September 4, 2013 (1:50 pm)

    Little bit off topic, but that Schmitz Park Elementary logo with the fox on the podium is BEAUTIFUL! Anybody know who designed that?

  • Donna September 4, 2013 (2:39 pm)

    I can see it from my house. I wondered what the crowd was all about. Thank you, Schmitz family, for all you’ve done in West Seattle!

  • Susan September 4, 2013 (3:21 pm)

    It was a wonderful start to a great day at Schmitz Park!

  • CJ September 4, 2013 (4:30 pm)

    I love everything about this, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside! Thank you Schmitz family- may we all be inspired to contribute so generously.

  • Athena September 4, 2013 (6:29 pm)

    My first year at Schmitz… definitely got the warm fuzzies this morning!!

  • Wendy September 5, 2013 (9:07 pm)

    Excellent speech Dietrich! Made my day –

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