FACTORYVILLE, Pa. -- As members of the high school band played, dozens of veterans were escorted into the auditorium at Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center Thursday morning.
“I think it’s a nice honor for all the veterans and we really appreciate it,” said Jerome Kelly, a Marine from Chinchilla.
Many of the vets have made this an annual tradition.
This is the 17th year for the ceremony.
“The numbers grew, I mean from three, four veterans up to, now, 30 veterans and they come back year after year,” said Gail Franko, a teacher and ceremony organizer.
“We get a breakfast and we go out with the children and I have quite a few great-grandchildren here,” said veteran Donald Antoine Sr. of Benton Township.
Lackawanna Trail graduates currently serving overseas were honored and students had a chance to wave pictures of their family members who served or are serving in the military, too.
“It makes me feel special that I have a father that served in the military,” said student Madison Darmock.
“When they serve, they’re doing something amazing for the country and they’re protecting everyone in the country,” said Madison Palmer, a sixth grader.
“It’s amazing to me that we get to thank the veterans with this ceremony every year. It’s really a way my grandpa and I can connect with each other, so it’s really special,” said sixth grader Sophie Haus.