Veterans, along with state and local dignitaries, attended West Running Brook Middle School's Sixth Annual Veterans Breakfast and Salute on Monday. Students served breakfast as the community thanked the veterans for their service to the country. (HUNTER McGEE PHOTO)
Derry middle school students show veterans that gratitude never gets old
"It chokes me up every time I come to this; I walk out with tears in my eyes," said Vietnam veteran Bruce Alger, who has been to every breakfast except for one. "It's just a really gripping experience, to see these kids do this for us. Don't tell me there isn't any hope for the youth of America. Here's your proof right here."
At one point, students walked around the gymnasium to hand each veteran in attendance an American flag. The flags were folded by the seventh- and eighth-grade members of West Running Brook's Kids Care Club, said Audrey Allen, a teacher and adviser to the club.
"We appreciate each and every one of you and thank you for your sacrifice, for your sense of duty, and for your service," Allen said.
A number of other awards were given out, including the Spirit of America Award. The award is handed out each year to people in the community who have made a difference for veterans.
She also praised West Running Brook students and staff for honoring veterans and service members in the community.
After the breakfast and salute ended, some veterans gathered to shake hands with old friends and share memories.