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Veterans Day: Over 2K flags fly in Covina to honor service members

Over 2,000 flags are flying in Covina Monday as one of many national tributes to America's troops and veterans.
November 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A sea of red, white and blue, the field at Sierra Vista Middle School in Covina is adorned with over 2,000 flags honoring veterans on Monday.

Organizers say the Field of Valor gives people a moment to reflect, and veterans a space to heal.

"This is such an emotional field. Some of them described it to us last year as a healing field," said Wayne Partee, co-chair of the Field of Valor.

Standing 2,027 flags strong, organizers say the field is a moving tribute, but still just a small token of appreciation to those who sacrificed so much.

"It just is an uplifting experience and you just walk away feeling so blessed to have been a part of it," said Partee.

It costs $35 to dedicate a flag, many of which are sponsored. Last year, the event raised $30,000, and all funds go to support local veterans.

"I have flags in the field for my uncle, who lost his life in World War II, never met the man but I put a flag in the field for my uncle Morrison Davis," said Partee.

Some of the flags represent the 27 historic American flags, starting with the one that only had 13 stars and ending with the flag as it is known today. Other flags are dedicated to California's Medal of Honor recipients, and a single flag stands in the middle of the field for a local Medal of Honor recipient.

Students at the middle school have the day off, but many still showed up to campus to take part in the ceremony honoring those who have served our country.

"If they didn't fight for us, we wouldn't be here as a country today," said Zach Wiesman of Covina.

Retired USMC Sgt. Lorenzo Harmon says the event should serve as a reminder of patriotism for students at the middle school.

"Sometimes in this country, it seems that people have forgotten patriotism aspects, so here is an opportunity for kids to see it," said Harmon.

Brain Oliver served in the United States Marine Corps and says veterans need our continued support.

"A lot of the stuff they went through, it's very hard to deal with, and they don't have a lot of support. And me as a vet, I want to support them as much as I can," said Oliver.

Many schools will be taking field trips to the Field of Valor throughout the week.

Mayor Eric Garcetti acted as the grand marshal of the San Fernando Veterans Parade, which kicked off at 11 a.m. in Mission Hills. Garcetti is the first elected official to have the honor because he is a reservist. The mayor says L.A. expects to welcome home about 24,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama hosted a White House breakfast for veterans and their families. Among the guests was Richard Overton, a 107-year-old World War II veteran from Texas. He is believed to be the oldest vet in the country. Overton got to meet Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at that breakfast.

See 21 of the best Veterans Day deals in the Southland

Overton also attended the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, lead by Mr. Obama.

Several businesses in the Southland are also offering great deals to honor troops and veterans. From free haircuts to meals, see a list of the best 21 deals.


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