The students of Richmond Elementary spent Friday afternoon honoring their families’ servicemen and servicewomen during a Veterans Day ceremony that was full of songs and salutes.

Students’ fathers and grandfathers who served or are serving in the war stood in front of a packed auditorium as students and teachers got to their feet and cheered each veteran’s service, past and present, during the 30-minute ceremony.

Holding back tears, Principal Gay Washington thanked the veterans for not only their service to the country but also for visiting the school.

“It gives us an opportunity to learn more about our country,” she told the audience.

The ceremony began with the presentation of the flags, the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem.

Students then sang songs from each branch of the military that they have worked on in music class for the past two weeks, music teacher Toni Jones said.

The kindergarten classes finished the ceremony with a rendition of “God Bless America.”

After, the veterans and current servicemen were invited to the front of the auditorium where, one by one, they told the students which branch they served in and which war.

Shelley Hudon, whose daughter, Savannah, is in the fifth grade, said she asked her husband, Rick, to attend the ceremony. Rick Hudon is a third generation serviceman and served 15 years in the U.S. Navy and Air Force and now works for the U.S. Public Health Services.

Shelley Hudon said the ceremony was wonderful because “(the veterans) got to be recognized for their service.”

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