Students honor 5,000 Oregon veterans with flags in front of scho - KPTV - FOX 12

Students honor 5,000 Oregon veterans with flags in front of school

Posted: Updated: May 25, 2018 07:22 PM
KPTV photo. KPTV photo.
MCMINNVILLE, OR (KPTV) -

A teacher-led effort at a local school honored thousands of Oregon veterans from World War I to the present ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

Students at McMinnville Christian Academy Friday planted more than 5,000 flags in the ground in front of their school. Tara Hessel, a preschool teacher at the academy who helped spearhead the effort, says each flag symbolizes a veteran who died in military service during World War I.

She said the event teaches students about the importance of military service and sacrifice. 

Next year, she wants to plant more flags.

“For the people who died non-battle,” Hessel said. “…Many of them died of disease.”

The 5,099 flags that were planted Friday included veterans who were reported missing during the war.

Hessel said the event was a joint effort between school officials, parents and community members.

She said the money to buy the flags was donated, and she hopes the tradition will continue for years to come. 

“[The students] get it, they understand what this is about,” Hessel said. “I really stress teaching about what our military is and the sacrifices not only they made, but the sacrifices of the families that have lost their children … their brothers or dads or moms or sisters.”

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