Middle schoolers host flag ceremony | NevadaAppeal.com

Middle schoolers host flag ceremony

by Maggie O'Neill

Cathleen Allison/Nevada AppealCarson Middle School eighth-graders A.J. Evans, left, and James Patten, both 13, participate in a flag-retirement ceremony and Veterans Day Commemoration on Wednesday at the school.

It was an unexpected thing to hear from the keynote speaker at a Veterans Day ceremony.

Nevada Army National Guard Capt. Chris Scherbert, who spoke passionately of the men and women in his unit, said he never planned to be in the service.

“Being the fourth generation, I wasn’t going into the military,” he said.

Four generations after Scherbert’s great-grandfather served in World War I, his grandfather served in World War II, and his father served 26 years in the U.S. Navy, he signed up.

“The more we try not to be like our parents, the more we grow up to be like them,” he said.

Scherbert commanded 57 men and women in the 777th Engineering Company who returned from Iraq in June after serving for more than a year.

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Scherbert, the featured speaker at the sixth annual Flag Retirement Ceremony at Carson Middle School, thanked veterans for coming and for fighting for the United States.

His words moved eighth-grader Christal Rains, 14, who spoke during the ceremony about the recipient of the school’s American Hero Award, the C Hill Foundation. The group is working to put an American flag on C Hill by next year.

“When (he) was talking, it touched me a lot because I have a lot of family members in the service,” she said.

Joe Kallo, a WWII and Korean vet, also found resonance with Scherbert’s words.

“When I saw him get up there and speak and tears come to his eyes. Tears would’ve come to my eyes too, had I had to speak,” he said.

Friday’s ceremony began with hand-bell music from the school’s Red Hot Bell Peppers and a presentation of colors by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets.

Several students read poems. A reception was held afterward in the library and parents could wander to the “stake-out” in the front yard where placards bearing student interviews of veterans had been placed.

Carson Middle School students practiced for more than a month in preparation for Wednesday’s program.

Parents Mike Berg and Cathy Rasmussen, attended the ceremony. Their children are 12-year-old seventh-grade twins Sarah and Zachary. Sarah played the bells and sang in the choir on Wednesday.

“I think it was great,” Berg said. “The veterans don’t get enough recognition.”

“I think it was wonderful,” said Rasmussen. “The students have been taught to express their thankfulness. I think this was a great effort.”

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’neill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.