One year after Denair student Cody Alicea took a stand for his right to fly the American flag at school, Cody’s patriotism is still running high. The high school freshman and his family will be hosting a Veteran’s Day barbecue at the American Legion Hall Post. 88 in Turlock. Cody is hoping to feed 1,000 veterans and supporters at the luncheon.
In November of last year a national media and social firestorm erupted in Denair after Cody was allegedly told to remove an American flag from his bicycle by a campus supervisor at Cody’s then school — Denair Middle School. It was believed Cody was told to remove his flag because of safety concerns due to racial tensions and threats. Cody had been flying his flag for two months and on Nov. 8 — the same week as Veteran’s Day — the incident occurred.
In the days and weeks that followed veterans groups and hundreds of supporters rallied to Cody’s side, holding patriotic parades and walking Cody to school in tidal waves of red, white and blue.
The entire incident and subsequent controversy died a slow death after internal Denair Unified School District memos and statements were discovered. Those documents depicted events contrary to what was previously believed and reported.
While life has moved on in Denair, Cody’s appreciation for veterans remains as strong as ever.
“I just wanted to do this to say thank you to all the veterans who supported me through all that happened last year and it is also a good way to honor veterans for their service to our country,” said Cody, who has two grandfathers who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Danine Kisner, Cody’s mother, said that Cody has used money raised from mowing lawns and collecting aluminum cans to help pay for the event. In addition, the Disabled Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion have donated funds for the event.
“We’ve reached out to some companies and we have seen some response which is great. Now we want to get the word out and invite veterans and supporters,” said Kisner.
The barbecue will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the American Legion Hall, 75 Bothun Rd., Turlock. For more information call, 667-9970.
To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141, ext. 2015.