MVAO students experience military funeral tradition - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

MVAO students experience military funeral tradition

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ANTHON, Iowa (KTIV) - It's the final honor given to military service men and women.

On Friday Maple Valley Anthon Oto middle school students, along with the community got to experience the importance of a military funeral.

After weeks of practice, American Legion McNiff Post #389 demonstrated and explained the military traditions during a mock military funeral.

From the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, to the folding of the American Flag, students watched as the ceremony took place.

It's an important lesson in understanding the sacrifices service members make to ensure our freedom.

"They're pretty sad sometimes, but at the end you feel pride in your country and people that served," 8th grader Ben Stadler said.  "It's a very cool experience. Something everyone should see in my opinion."

"To respect them and appreciate them for what they did for you and to help with freedom," 8th grade Brenna Lansink added. 

Army SGT Aaron Ring, who is the NCOIC of the Central and Western Iowa Military Funeral Honors, said he wishes he could have experienced these types of ceremonies as a kid, and is now excited to share these traditions.

"I couldn't ask for a better job," he said.  "If I can inspire a kid to follow in -- not necessarily my foot steps, but join the Army and make the country proud, that'd make me feel pretty good."

"I have a tendency to choke up at military funerals. I choke up when I hear the Star Spangled Banner sung," Joe Harbaugh added.  "(The kids) just think it's all neat, but there is a meaning behind everything here."

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