CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE) – One by one.  Room by room. Students at Clovis Elementary School took part in a special ceremony to mark 9/11 and Patriot’s Day. 

A student representative from each class exchanged their twenty-year-old classroom flag for a brand new one.  

Adding to the emotion of the ceremony, the flags were presented by veterans and in some cases veteran family members of the students. Like former U.S. Marine Manuel Olivas who presented a flag to his great-grandson.  

“It was beautiful.  I hope he remembers this. I hope he remembers this event. I will,” said Olivas

The Clovis Veteran’s Memorial District provided the new flags and will appropriately retire the old ones. They say the ceremony reinforced the relationship between the veterans and the community.

“The students aren’t here by themselves. They have the full support of our veterans. These veterans are also the parents; some of them are teachers. They’re part of the fabric of our community,” said Lorenzo Rios, the CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

It was an exciting and emotion-filled ceremony and also a teaching moment for the students.

According to Clovis Elementary Principal Donelle Kellom, “The kids were so proud to see their family members on stage while they were talking about it with their friends, and it’s just not always shared. So, it was a great opportunity to open that conversation also.”