A field covered with rows of red, white and blue flags are helping visitors – Merced students included – gain a visual appreciation for the sacrifices of veterans, military personnel and first responders.
This week, each middle school in the Merced City School District is being given the chance to take eighth-grade classes to the fourth annual Field of Honor at Merced College, the district said.
The display of approximately 1,000 flags is a joint effort between the college and Merced Sunrise Rotary.
“To have the students out here to be able to see this and to gain an appreciation for the people who are represented here is very special to us,” Field of Honor co-chairwoman Nancy Edmiston said in a statement. “If you read some of the stories on some of the tags, it’s amazing, absolutely amazing, and just knowing that these people served our country, that they did it by choice, and in some cases lost their lives in that process is a very special thing.”
To have the students out here to be able to see this and to gain an appreciation for the people who are represented here is very special to us.
Field of Honor co-chairwoman Nancy Edmiston
Students take a tour through the rows of flags and learn about the significance of each section, the district said in a news release. There is an area dedicated to local fallen heroes, one featuring flags for each branch of the military, another with flags for first responders, and another that pays tribute to the lives lost in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Students are also guided through a series of American flags that show how Old Glory has evolved from the original design with 13 stars in a circle to how it looks today, the release said.
On Monday, Hoover Middle School students were the first to visit the field and observed the flag that flew during President Herbert H. Hoover’s time in office. Students from Cruickshank, Rivera and Tenaya middle schools also were planning visits.
The Field of Honor will remain open until 4 p.m. Saturday.
This year, the students are able to visit the field thanks to a transportation grant provided by the Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union, according to the release.
This year’s Field of Honor was inaugurated with a ceremony on Sunday, during which the Honor Choir from Fremont Elementary School performed. On Friday, which is Veterans Day, residents who purchased flags to honor their loved ones will carry their flags in the Veterans Day Parade on Main Street.