Santa Paula Times

McKevett students pay
respects to veterans

November 12, 1999
Santa Paula News

This 2nd Grader from McKevett sang "America the Beautiful"

``I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic...'' reverberated from the voices of more than 400 students, parents, teachers, spectators, and members of the Mercer Prieto Post 2043, as a poignant Veteran's Day ceremony began with the raising of the flag followed by the singing of ``God Bless America'' at McKevett Elementary School on Wednesday. McKevett second-grade student Brianna Ruiz, brought feelings to the surface, and tears to the eyes of many as her young voice penetrated the crystal clear morning air with ``America the Beautiful''. Carl Barringer, VFW Post Commander, spoke to the students about how men gave their lives for freedom, and that Veteran's Day is a tribute to fallen comrades. ``We are assembled here to pay tribute to the men and women of our community who served in the United States Armed Forces and fought in defense of this country,'' said Barringer. ``Coming to an event like this, with all these youngsters, completely renews my faith in what we fought for, ''said District 8 Commander, Kenneth Neiemi. ``Since most students do not really know the meaning of these special days,'' said Rey Frutos, McKevett's Outreach Consultant, ``nor do they attend ceremonies that are held throughout the community, we decided to bring the ceremonies to them. Patriotism is a very powerful word and something that has to be taught to our children.'' Not a sound was heard from the audience as David Lopez, member of the Santa Paula based Korean War Veteran organization read what each fold of the flag means. The Flag Folding Ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our Country was founded and is only used at the funeral of military members.As the flag was being folded he recited;The first fold: Represents the symbol of life.Second fold: Represents the belief in eternal lifeThird fold: In honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who, not in vain, gave a portion of his life in the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world. That they shall never be forgotten.Fourth fold: Represents our weaker nature. As American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn for divine guidance in times of peace, as well as in times of war.Fifth fold: A tribute to our country.
Sixth fold: It's where out hearts lie - and it's with our hearts that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stand, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.Seventh fold: It is a tribute to the Armed Forces.Eighth fold: It is a tribute to the One who entered the Valley of the Shadow of Death, so we can see the light of day. This fold is made to honor Mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.Ninth fold: It is a tribute to womanhood.Tenth fold: It is a tribute to Father, who has given his sons for the defense of our Country since she was born.Eleventh fold represents the lower portion of the Seal of King David and King Solomon.Twelfth fold: It represents an emblem of eternity.When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost and remind us of our national motto: ``In God We Trust''. Following the folding of the flag, Mercer Prieto VFW Post 2043 members, fired three volleys each, representing the 21-gun-salute. Ending the ceremony was VFW's bugler Sam Solace, playing taps.