Spirits Soar in the Small Wisconsin Town Where a Washington Eagle Has Landed

updated 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

It was christened Eagle in 1841, but the Wisconsin township (pop. 2,800) has never been as proud of its name as when it uncrated a bird made of copper and gold leaf that for 20 years perched above the entrance to Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown Hotel. The hotel's owners, who plan to redecorate, invited 53 American communities with Eagle in their names—including Eagle Nest, N.Mex. and Eagle Point, Oreg.—to make a pitch for the seven-foot statue.

All 186 students at Eagle Elementary School wrote letters asking for the model bald eagle, which they intend to place in the entrance to their new school. The winning arguments:

"Because we do the Pledge of Allegiance a lot."

Jennifer Hickman, 1st grade "If you put an eagle into a larger city or town, somebody nasty could try to break it or do something mean like that."

Rebecca Dreke, 5th grade "Our city is quiet, so it wouldn't scare the eagle."

Angela Reiter, 5th grade "It would be a pretty and beautiful sight. And we couldn't afford one as pretty as yours."

Trevor Conrad, 3rd grade "Nothing ever happens in our little community, at least never anything important. If we got an eagle, our little town will become famous."

Kim Janecek, 5th grade "I will take care of it for the rest of my life."

Jace Schubert, 4th grade "If you were us, I would give you one."

Jason Kruswicki, 4th grade

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