EL CENTRO – Those who came to watch the American flag, followed by the POW-MIA black flag, be hoisted to the top of the newly installed flag pole at the Veterans Service Office new location, stood at attention watching Old Glory wave in the afternoon’s breeze, Thursday.
The Imperial County Sheriff’s Explorers Color Guard, aided by Robert Morales, 30th District Commander of the American Legion of California, raised the flag in the patriotic and solemn ceremony, which was followed by the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and the pledge of allegiance.
“Isn’t that a beautiful flag! Always remember your veterans,” Bennie Benivides, the Korean veteran exclaimed to the audience. “Remember, freedom is never free. Thank a vet!”
Sheriff Raymond Loera, a veteran from the 82nd Airborne Division, quoted from General Douglas McArthur’s West Point speech, “Duty, honor, county- three hallowed words rally courage when courage begins to fail.”
“Imperial County is proud to dedicate the flag pole and watch the raising of the flag in the more centrally located veteran’s office,” Ryan Kelley, chairman of the county board told the onlookers. “Imperial Valley veterans are honored by this community and that will not change. God bless the veterans of Imperial County, God bless Imperial County, and God bless the United States.”[envira-gallery id=”64538″]