CALEXICO — Young students stood alongside veterans solemnly holding flags up in the air before placing them in the ground around the veterans’ memorial at Calexico City Hall on Friday morning during San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus’ Veterans Day Celebration.
“This is a great opportunity for the students to learn about the contributions of veterans to protect our country and honor them,” SDSU-IV academic adviser Norma Aguilar said.
“I think it’s good that I get to meet people that served in the war because some lost lives for our country,” Wilson Junior High School student Richard Guzman said.
The students from Kennedy Middle School and Wilson Junior High in El Centro also went on a tour of the campus to learn more about life at SDSU-IV. They are all in the academic support program Advancement Via Individual Determination and prepared for the celebration by reading about veterans.
“It’s a really nice chance for them to meet veterans, shake their hands and get a perspective on what it really means to serve your country,” Wilson AVID coordinator Kjersti Williams said.
Veteran Joe Vindiola of Calexico American Legion Post 90 said many children only know about war from movies, and it’s important for them to meet veterans to get a more realistic idea of what it means to serve in the military.
The veterans at Friday’s event served in a variety of wars, and the students even had a chance to meet World War II and Korean War veteran Gil A. Medina.
“It was great because the veterans helped us and we support them,” Kennedy eighth-grader Brianna Chavez said. “They’re very special to us, because they fought for our country. Every year everyone should support them more than we do.”
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