Students pause, help remember fallen military members

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Updated Saturday, May 24 at 7:07 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- NJROTC students from First Colonial High School helped VFW Post 392 place American flags at veterans' grave sites at Rosewood Memorial Park Saturday.

The VFW post distributes 11,000 flags to cemeteries in the city. 5,000 of those are left at Rosewood.

"A lot of people forget that the news isn't over there now, but there is still kids over in Afghanistan, still kids in Iraq, still kids all across the world," said retired Master Chief Charles Aardahl.

Aardahl, who is the NJROTC program leader at First Colonial, spent 33 years in the Navy.

"You know, hopefully God will keep this weekend safe, but the chances are pretty good that at least one or two Americans are going to lose their lives in combat today," Aardahl said, beginning to well up.

He tells students to think about the military members who sacrificed their lives in service  to their country.

"It would be sad to think that the only people that were taking a second to think of them are the ones that are their immediate family or something like that.  Each one of us owe them a debt that we can't possibly repay to them,"  said Aardahl, who paused Saturday to remember a fallen shipmate.

"Take a second.  Take a knee, and think about them, and say, 'Thank you,'" Aardahl recommended.

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