When you are next by the high school, take some time to visit the flagpole. It is an impressive 110 feet tall and may very well be the tallest flagpole in Minnesota. Flagpole painters have told Hibbing district superintendents over the years that they have never painted a taller flagpole.
Around the base of the flagpole are four plaques. Take the time to read them. When Joe and I lead tours of the high school, we begin with the flagpole and the plaques at its base. Visitors are always moved by that first stop on the tour.
I was researching Armistice Day through the years in Hibbing when unexpectedly I found the following article. It is taken from the Hibbing Daily Tribune on Monday, Nov. 12, 1923. We never knew before about the solemn ceremony to dedicate the flagpole. Hibbing High School was brand-spankin’ new at that time. In fact, the school itself would not be officially dedicated until 1924.
Picture the scene described here: on a November morning (imagine the weather), a crowd of adults and children gather in front on the new school (only a few houses are yet to be built or moved into the surrounding streets) to stand outside and listen to a speech.
The First World War had ended just five years earlier – the “War to End All Wars” it was called. The horrors it inflicted on the soldiers, families and the European landscape were still very fresh in people’s minds. In Hibbing, they gathered to remember …
~ Mary Palcich Keyes
Judge Martin Hughes pays fitting tribute to men who died during war
A tribute to the living as well as to the dead — to Hibbing’s 1,500 sons who answered the call of war and the 17 who “gave their last full measure of devotion” was paid today by Judge Martin Hughes, delivering the Armistice Day address in front of the new Hibbing High School.
A large crowd heard the speaker urge America to “not forget that just as great an obligation rested upon it in peace as in war.” Asking the servicemen to insist that the same cause they fought for be gained in peacetime as in war days, the speaker urged that America return once more to the period of old-fashioned homes, to the days when the home meant something more than it does at the present period.
The dedication of a flagpole was participated in by school children and the American Legion. The High School band played. There was a program of singing and band music. The Legion color squad participated. At a certain signal, the large crowd faced to the east in solemn tribute to those Hibbing men who died in the service of their country.
The entire ceremony was brief but impressive. Hundreds of schoolchildren and townspeople stood with bared heads as Old Glory was raised to the mast head for the first time on the new flagpole while the band played the national anthem.
Miss Esther Daneby presented to the Board of Education a memorial tablet with the names of the students who served and those who died during the war.