LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - For the 23rd year, veterans were individually honored at Southeast Lauderdale High School. One by one, each veteran was thanked for their service. The event also helps students realize the importance of recognizing the sacrifices made by those who have served our country.
“[If] these young people can look in the eyes of these veterans and hear what they’ve got to say, they’ll have a great appreciation for our veterans and the sacrifices that these men and women have made,” says Algie Davis, the program founder.
The program started in 1995 with around 50 veterans attending and has grown ever since.
“The first program we had, the veterans thought it was going to be somebody who is just going to stand up and talk to them for 45 minutes, and we’d recognize them as a group and that was the end of it,” Davis said. “They had no idea we we’re going to recognize them individually, no idea we was going to feed them a fantastic Thanksgiving lunch; well those 50 went out and spread the word, and that’s really why it’s grown and that’s why it continues to grow. And we’ve had several here this morning that have been to all 23 programs.”
Elementary school students also gave out cards to each veteran.
“They made little cards, thanking the veterans,” Davis said. “You know, they don’t know any of these veterans, but you ought to be out there in that line where all those little kindergartners are, with their little flags, and just grabbing those veterans as they come by and saying, ‘man, thank you, I love you, thank you for serving our country.’ That’s what we need more of.”
Veterans were treated to a Thanksgiving lunch at the high school after the program ended.