Nov 13, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterVeterans Day lasted through Monday this year for students at Aspen Park Elementary School, who decorated their campus this week with flags representing loved ones who have served in the military.
APES principal Andrea Verosky said local parents were invited to purchase the flags, which were distributed to students Monday during a Veterans Day assembly at the school.
"Your moms and dads got them for your friends and family members who are soldiers," Verosky told students during the event.
She introduced two other veterans the students likely recognized: school resource officers Todd Baxter and Cody Myers, who also were honored with personalized flags in front of the building.
Myers had prepared a Veterans Day program for the school with five members of his military science class, who performed a flag-folding ceremony for the APES students. As Riverton High School juniors Blade McCoy, Chris Holcomb, Taylor Barry and Tucker Niemi handled the American flag, sophomore Brianna Plush told students about the significance of the 13 folds included in the presentation.
According to The American Legion, various folds symbolize life, country, womanhood, fatherhood and eternity.
"Next time you see a flag ceremony ... keep in mind the important reasons behind each and every movement," Plush said.
Myers explained that even the design on the flag has a deeper meaning. According to usflag.org, the book "Our Flag" published in 1989 by the U.S. House of Representatives identifies the white as signifying purity and innocence while red stands for hardiness and valor, and blue symbolizes vigilance, perseverance and justice.
"The flag represents all of us --¬our country and our men and women who serve in our military," Myers said.
He told the students that Veterans Day is an opportunity to say "thank you" to people who have served in branches of the military. He showed a music video called "Angel Flight" by singer Radney Foster, who dedicated the song to military service members who have died.
"We have a war going on," Myers said. "A lot of people are over there fighting to protect our rights ... so we can do things like come to school and play sports."
Barry said she was happy for the chance to serve as a mentor for her younger peers.
"It's definitely a privilege to be able to do this," Barry said. "(We're here to) show these kids there are people out there fighting for their lives."
She and her classmates waved at the elementary schoolers as the children filed outside to place their miniature flags in the ground. Second-grader Ailee Friday had two to post, one each for her father and her uncle. Kindergartener Alex Bisbee was excited about his handful of flags, while second-grader Carter Fowler named each military service member he knew while he carefully stuck his poles in the snow.
Verosky said she hopes the activity makes the holiday more special for her students.
"This makes it more personal," she said. "They can kind of figure out what Veterans Day is all about."
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