Quailwood Elementary hosts an early Veteran's Day celebration

Students meet with veterans to mark the holiday

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Veterans' Day is on Monday, but the students at Quailwood Elementary School marked the holiday a few days early.

Hundreds of students were joined by their teachers and veterans as they honored those who have fought for our country..

"It gives our kids a chance to see (the veterans) actually face to face so that they know who is represented when we have the Veterans' Day holiday," said Principal Steve Duke. "They know there are people connected with that holiday."

One of those veterans who met with the students was Robert Lopez, who has attended the event for the past three years.

"It's important for the kids to honor the vets because it helps instill a sense of patriotism, a sense of duty (and) the values of this great country," said Lopez. "Despite what is going on in the world today, whether it be politics or what not, they still need to understand that you should be proud to be an American."

It's a lesson some students have already picked up on.

"They fought for our country and risked their lives so we could have freedom," said student Reid Wyatt.

Lopez said it isn't just about freedom, its also about understanding who we are as a nation.

"For kids to understand where we came from and where we are going -- that will hopefully help them preserve the democratic process," said Lopez.

In addition to Quailwood Elementary, students from Bakersfield High School ROTC and Fruitvale Middle School took part in the ceremony.

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