A new, 40-foot flagpole was dedicated Wednesday morning at the Academy of Environmental Science in Crystal River. Community donations totaling $9,500 were collected to fund the hurricane-resistant flagpole that overlooks the Salt River.

The school’s Leadership Class of 2016 spearheaded the effort, led by AES social studies teacher Carol Nicholas. Veterans from various service organizations were on hand, some donating flags to the school to honor the effort. The early-morning program included singing of the “The Star Spangled Banner,” reading of the poem “The Noble and the Brave” and the raising of the flag, pictured above, that flew over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 17, 2016.

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