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Celebrating America: Jones students hold Patriotic Parade

POSTED: June 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Salena Nguyen sings along Wednesday with her classmates during the Patriotic Parade at Jones Elementary School.

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A group of youngsters from Jones Elementary School spent part of Wednesday waving American flags and singing songs of patriotism in the school’s second annual Patriotic Parade.

"The purpose of the event is to celebrate America," said Greg O’Dell, an organizer of the afternoon event.

Also in attendance were groups of veterans who stood up for recognition during the songs that represented their respective branches of service.

The Rev. Steve Baker of Mount Vernon Baptist Church led a moment of silence, which was followed by staff members singing the "The Star-Spangled Banner."

A group of veterans from the American Legion No. 40&8 then led the highlight of the event, the patriotic parade, through the grassy stretch of baseball field.

Each grade, decked out in star-spangled gear, marched behind them waving handmade posters and flags.

Jessica Trujillo, a second-grader, said she liked using art to express gratitude to the "people that help the U.S.A."

Vietnam Veteran David Roberts said the show of patriotism was overwhelming.

"It’s good to see that they’re instilling it into the kids," he said.

Jones Elementary School Principal Hank Ramey said the most rewarding part of the experience for him was talking to the veterans.

"All those I’ve spoken to personally have conveyed a deep appreciation for the fact that we are celebrating our country and that we’re honoring them," Ramey said. "Whether they’re able to attend or not, they’re just so touched by it."

Ramey added that he hopes the ceremony inspires the kids to appreciate their country from a young age.

"We have so many great things to be thankful for here in America, and we just really want to make sure we pass that along to our students," he said.



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