A retired Marine has gained national attention after he put on his dress blues to help students cross a busy street near a city elementary school
It was last year Cpl. Lewis Alston, 63, Lititz, noticed South Duke Street and North Street did not have a crossing guard. The intersection is near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. So Alston, a chaplain for the Lancaster County Marine Corps League, took action.
“What I did was the first day of school, on Monday; I was at a funeral service before. I said, ‘well I’ll be in uniform so that will work really well for the children to know a serviceman close-up’,” Alston told abc27.
He has been helping students, among others, cross the street at the beginning and end of class all week. Alston believes he has helped hundreds during that time.
“As a community we come together and look out for one another. To me it real simple, so that’s what I do,” Alston said.
The story has become national news.
“I didn’t do it for that. It was the idea and it needed to be done,” Alston said.
Drivers and pedestrians alike show their support. City officials support Alston as well. City police admit there is a crossing guard shortage. There are 23 in the city.
“As long as I stay within the guidelines, they’re ok with it,” Alston said.
He says he will continue to help students cross as long as there is a need. He is hoping to motivate others to help. When class is back in session on Tuesday, several other veterans will join Alston. They volunteered right away.
Alston served during the Vietnam War; where he was wounded.