LUBECK, W.Va. (WTAP) - It was a special day as Lubeck Elementary School held a ceremony on Thursday to honor military veterans and active service members.
The school has held the ceremony for several years, but it's grown so much that it was moved this year to the nearby Lubeck Community Baptist Church to accommodate a larger crowd.
During the ceremony, veterans’ names were read aloud, and each veteran was given a gift as their bio was displayed on a large screen.
There was a color guard ceremony and the Pledge of Allegiance, along with music from the students and a moment of silence.
Veterans who attended say they appreciated the show of support.
It means "the world to me,” said Ed McPherson of Marietta, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam. “Because when we came back from Vietnam, we didn't have anything like this at all. And just in the last several years it's been really nice to be recognized by everybody."
Even active service members appreciated the school’s hard work in putting together the ceremony.
“it means a lot,” said Jeffrey Grimm of Williamstown, who’s currently serving in the Army. “Especially in a country now, where, you know, not as much emphasis is put on, you know, service to your country. So it means a lot that they recognize it."
Students also were recognized during the ceremony for collecting 658 items that will be sent to troops as part of the "Hugs from Home” program.
School officials said students have been collecting items annually for the program since 2007 and now have collected more than 18,000 items during that time.