By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Veterans were honored Thursday inside the gym of Southeast Lauderdale High School during the school's 17th annual Veterans Day festivities.
Medals glistened on uniforms worn by the veterans, some of whom were older than others.
Students filing in looked upon the veterans with admiration.
"They gave so much for us," said Magen Chatham, an 11th grader. "This is our chance to show them the respect they deserve and to thank them for serving our country."
Marine Corps Sgt. Joey Jones, of Green Cove Springs, Fla., and Pvt. Wayne Bass of nearby Forest, sat in their dress blues. Sitting on the other side of the gym were their more seasoned peers — a dozen men and women wearing the red silk jackets of the Marine Corps League.
"It is humbling to be here with so many veterans who have served in so many wars and conflicts," said Jones, who is the Marine Corps recruiter for Meridian. "I just hope I can fill their boots, but this is nice for the school to honor these veterans."
"Seeing all the civilians come out and show their support like this is great," Bass said. "It makes me proud to serve our country knowing we have the support of the people."
Algie Davis, who has served as the master of ceremonies throughout the years, told the young adults just how important these veterans were to them.
"These people, wearing these uniforms and insignias, are why you are able to do the things you want like play football and go to school," Davis said. "We owe them so much."
School Principal Dwane Taylor, turning to the veterans, said, "This is your day."