Lawrence County High School held a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday morning in the gymnasium as a show of appreciation to former service men and women and their families.
Students were heavily involved in the events. Cheerleaders, the color guard, and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps performed for the veterans. One student also performed the national anthem.
Veterans were given a separate seating area so that they could have the best view of the performances and speakers. The bleachers were packed with students and family members.
"It's a way to let our veterans know how much we appreciate them and say we thank you and we love you," said LCHS principal Thomas Jones.
Jimmy Black, assistant principal at R.A. Hubbard and Alabama National Guard veteran, was one of the keynote speakers at the ceremony. His speech focused on encouraging young people to work hard at achieving their goals and never give up.
"To the student, nothing in life is easy, so study hard and work hard," Black said.
He feels that veterans should be shown the utmost respect for the sacrifices they make.
"Veterans in this country is owed a debt of gratitude," Black said. "Today more than ever, the world is always changing. Military people never know when they will be called upon to serve this great nation."
Bob Green, Vietnam War veteran and grandfather of two Moulton Elementary School students, said he enjoyed the simplicity of the event and the fact that so many people participated. He particularly liked the songs.
"It was excellent," Green said. "I enjoyed it all, but the songs were moving."
All other Lawrence County Schools also had similar ceremonies, according to Superintendent Jon Bret Smith.
Speake School Principal Tina Blankenship said their annual Veterans' Day Program was "once again a success."
She said one of the speakers, Dr. Carl Evans, emphasized the functions and importance of the different branches of the military.
"The Liberty Quartet, whose members include Shannon Reed, Harry and Evon Zills, and Roger Spillers sang the National Anthem, and Roger Spillers gave an emotional performance of "God Bless the U.S.A,"" Blankenship said.
Lawrence County High School's Color Guard presented and retired the colors, and the Drill Team performed.
Veterans in attendance introduced themselves and described their military service. After the program concluded, guests were treated to refreshments. The gym was decorated with patriotic artwork the students had completed that week.