Veterans honored at Southeast Lauderdale High School

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Veterans are important to students and faculty at Southeast Lauderdale High. To show their appreciation, the school honored veterans at a special program Friday and then served them Thanksgiving dinner.

“This program began 22 years ago, as a way for our school to acknowledge the sacrifice that veterans paid to go and serve our country and protect us. And we just wanted to show them how much we appreciate their sacrifice,” says Donna Sprabery, school librarian.

The program is a great way to show students what it's like to have served in the military.

“Participating in an event like this let’s students realize, from a firsthand perspective, exactly what people gave up in order to defend our country. They hear stories from people from World War II, Vietnam, Iraq, and it just gives them more of a true sense of what the people went through,” Sprabery explained.

Veterans said they enjoyed the event.

“I enjoyed it, especially the kids, the smaller kids, how they greeted us and thanked us for serving in the military,” says Jonathan Horner, a Vietnam veteran.

The goal of the program is to let veterans know they're appreciated and respected.

“This event is important to veterans because it acknowledges and it gives credibility, maybe on a personal level, that people still remember what they sacrificed and did. It’s not like we forget them, and they don’t feel just put to the side,” Sprabery says.

"It means a lot to me; it really let us know that there are people in this world who still care about the veterans,” Horner added.