Students honor and thank veterans
Javier Pacheco raises a flag Friday morning in front of Blanche Charles Elementary School during the school's Memorial Day services. (ERIC MILLER PHOTO / May 25, 2013)
Veteran organizations including Calexico American Legion Post 90, Veterans of Foreign War Post 1637 and Am Vets participate in the school event annually.
“We do this every year for Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. We’re patriots,” VFW Cmdr. Carl Vindiola said. “It’s to teach them patriotism and hear what patriotism means to them. For us, it’s the service for our country.”
Blanche Charles technology technician and veteran David Salgado said part of why he helps coordinate the ceremony is so students have the opportunity to personally meet and thank veterans.
It’s fifth-grader Deaven Medina’s first year at Blanche Charles, and he said he hadn’t met a veteran before.
“We should thank them because they almost gave their life for us,” he said.
Students recited the pledge of allegiance while holding American flags that waved in the breeze as the main flag was raised.
The flag was then lowered to half-mast as “Taps” was played to honor those veterans who have died.
“Those are all people that have gone to service to keep our country free. Those are the people you have to thank,” Principal Anna Monninger told the students. “We’re here to commemorate them but also here to commemorate those we have lost.”
The ceremony was dedicated to Gordon Ferrell, a Calexico native and Army veteran of World War II who died in late March.
Other veterans who attended the ceremony Friday served in a wide variety of armed services and different wars such as the Korean War, Vietnam War and more.
“We think it’s pretty good because it’s something they don’t do in most of the schools,” fifth-grader Ayana Solano Vallejo said.
Several students read aloud poems about Memorial Day and all of them lined up to shake the veterans’ hands before the veterans were treated to a breakfast at the school.
“We’re so proud of them and they’re community members that many of the students already know,” she said. “It’s important because they live in this small world and don’t really know how important the role is that these people played in our country. We don’t want them to forget.”
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com
Memorial Day events
Compiled by Celeste Alvarez, Staff Writer
If you go
What Memorial Day Ceremony sponsored by the Brawley American Legion