Loma students receive flags from veterans

Gordon Harper, a member of the Fruita Lions Club, handed out American flags to the second grade students at Loma Elementary School Thursday morning.

For the past 12 years, veterans and members of the Fruita Lions Club have been giving American flags to the second-grade students at Loma Elementary School as part of their Veterans Day celebration.

“I love it when adults come to me and say they still have their flag,” said Will Eidson, who served as a gunner on a B-50 Bomber in the Korean War. He was helped Thursday morning by club members Leo Pauls and Gordon Harper.

“Harper’s grandson is one of ‘em,” Eidson said. “He took his flag to Mesa State College with him. I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for this long already.”

Eidson spends much of his spare time throughout the year, cutting pieces of 2x4 boards into standing triangles. He bores a hole and glues a small flag into the stand, which he coats with polyurethane to make sure it lasts longer.

He makes more than 300 flags with stands each year that are distributed to local elementary schools throughout the year, including Appleton, Rimrock, and Shelledy elementary schools.

In addition, Eidson and the club members talk to the students about the importance of respecting and understanding the flag and remembering the service that veterans gave to their country.

The Fruita Lions Club also gave gifts of bald eagle statues to several staff members as thanks for allowing them to interact with the students. In return, Eidson received hand-baked cookies from one of the school’s teachers.

“I hope that someday there won’t be any more wars,” Eidson said. “I hope that your kids never have to know that.”

He reminded the children to always take good care of their flags and never to forget the value they represent.


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