Since 6th grade, I have participated or attended the Veteran's Day Parade at our local War Veterans Home (minus the 3 years I lived in Utah). As a student, I stood in formation across from those in wheelchairs, holding canes or walkers, and some who stood proudly.
I remember feeling the pride of being there on the field. Some of my friends complained about yet another parade for us to march in (6-12 graders in a military school, every year, multiple parades and command retreats).
The Veteran's Day Parade was always the one I refused to complain about, because while we stood there in the field, the faces of the veterans were all that mattered. Our visit to the home each year meant so much to them and I could feel it.
Patriotic songs are sung, prayers and speeches are given, and then the final pass and review. I would watch as veterans stood on wobbly knees to honor their flag with a salute.
My eyes would well up with tears as I saw them hang on to nearby nurses to stand for their armed branches' song.
Ten years later, I stand in the crowd watching the parade observing the cadets, listening to the same drum beat, trying not to stand at parade rest when it is shouted over the ranks.
With pride I say I attend those types of events that focus on Duty, Honor, and Country on a monthly basis, past, present, and future.
To Georgia Military Prep School, I am forever grateful for the love of country instilled in my heart on a daily basis.
It was an honor today to be with our veterans, to acknowledge and show appreciation for their courage, sacrifice, and strength all so that we could be free.
Thank you to all the veterans who served and continue to serve this beautiful nation!