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Students Thank Vets With 10,000 American Flags

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  • “I think it is important for the kids of this generation to actually be a part of this.” Fila said.
  • “I feel like I am doing something to help the community. You always see them and it’s a great thing.” Smiley said.

SAGINAW TWP, MI -– It’s the day before Veteran’s Day and 10,000 miniature U.S. flags fly in the breeze on the front lawn of Heritage High School as cars drive past, occasionally honking and waving at a group of students planting the flags one by one.

A little more than 10 years ago, the annual tradition was started by a teacher at the high school and teacher Melissa Fila took it over. Over the course of the day, her leadership classes would take a break from the classroom and spend the class period planting the flags. In total, 10,000 flags would be planted, each representing a Saginaw County veteran.

“I think it is important for the kids of this generation to actually be a part of this.” Fila said.

The students would nimbly walk through the already-planted flags, trying not to step on them as they add their own to the display.

Maya Richardson of Saginaw Township said, “I think it’s really neat that we’re all coming together. It’s a way to honor them and thank them for their service. It’s just really nice. ”

Owen Smiley, 15, of Saginaw Township has seen the flags in years past and now has the opportunity to plant them himself.

“I feel like I am doing something to help the community. You always see them and it’s a great thing.” Smiley said.

Fila went on to say that she hopes her students and people who drive past understand that, “You’re here and you have this freedom because people fought for it. I want them to understand and to show honor and respect to those people.”

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