IN PICTURES: STANLEY SWITLIK HOSTS ANNUAL RED, WHITE AND BLUE DAY

Switlik kindergarteners sing ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag.’

A sea of red, white and blue filled Stanley Switlik Elementary’s cafeteria on Nov. 9 as the school honored veterans, first responders and the U.S. with its annual Red, White and Blue Day celebration. Along with musical performances by each grade and student essays thanking those who risk their lives to keep us safe, the day included an address from Marine Corps staff sergeant Michael Sessler and a sing-along rendition of “God Bless the USA” from former Marathon Mayor John Bartus.

Photos by ALEX RICKERT/Keys Weekly

Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.