Community rallies around patriotic student

DENAIR, Calif.

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Last week, in Denair, just east of Turlock, Cody Alicea was told to remove his American Flag from his bike before entering school. His school reversed that decision, but for Cody, it was just the beginning.

This was not your ordinary ride to school. But it all started with no ordinary 13-year-old.

"I'm nervous and proud," said Cody Alicea.

When Denair Middle School asked Cody Alicea to remove his patriotic display from his bike for safety reasons and concerns over racial tension -- he had no idea people across the county, California, and the country would take up his cause.

So Perry and two dozen of his fellow American Legion Riders left Merced before sunrise to escort Cody to school with the flag on his bike. And on the way, many more joined them, on bikes and on foot through the streets of Denair.

In the end a group of 300 gathered around the flagpole on campus to say the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem.

Cody was moved to tears, "Thanks for the support. I'd like to thank everybody for their support."

Valley Congressman-Elect Jeff Denham released a statement saying he was "outraged" with the school for making Cody remove the flag. He has offered to fly the boy to Washington D.C. to attend his swearing-in. An offer Cody says he just might take him up on.

Proof that one small boy from a small town can make a big impact.

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