Coloma Junior High students honor veterans with new flags on graves

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:17 PM EDT
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COLOMA, Mich. (WNDU) — A peaceful bliss fills the air at Coloma Cemetery. There’s a sea of red, white, and blue as far as the eye can see.

Each and every one of these American flags represents one life. It’s a representation of all who risked everything to serve our country. With Memorial Day right around the corner, what better way to honor our veterans than by filling a place usually known for its solitude—with remembrance and empathy?

“It makes me feel very proud and, just like, they are willing to do a lot for us,” said sixth grade Coloma Junior High School student Kaylyn Jacobs. “It just makes me feel really cared about.”

These Coloma Junior High School students are serving in their own way—by replacing old, tattered, and torn flags with new ones.

“People were willing to die in the war for our freedom, and that’s really important because we can sleep safely in our beds and don’t have to worry about stuff that’s bad going on in other countries right now,” said sixth grade student Raeghan Prestidge.

Rebecca Roberts is a math teacher at Coloma Junior High School and says the annual event teaches students about the sacrifices made by veterans.

“I don’t think you really truly understand until you get older,” said Coloma math teacher Rebecca Roberts. “Just getting that idea of there’s a difference between Memorial [Day] and Veteran’s [Day]...It is the ultimate sacrifice.”

Even if some of these students didn’t have anyone in their family who served in the military, teachers are hoping that students bring back a sense of pride.

“Being part of this community and doing something not for themselves and for others, I think, is also important,” said Roberts.