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Holly Academy students honor veterans with parade and medals

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It's the finale of a week-long event where students learn about the armed forces.

HOLLY, Mich. (WJRT) - Students at Holly Academy saluted the veterans in their families and in the community on Friday.

It's the final part of a week-long event where students learn about the armed forces and the people who serve in them.

Students made crafts and presents for visiting vets, and even got to sit in military vehicles.

What started as the tradition of one kindergarten classroom has become the tradition of the entire school.

"They have to sacrifice being with their families. They have to sacrifice where they live. They have to move sometimes," said Lauren, a fourth grader at Holly Academy. And her mother, who served in the marines, was just one of the 60 veterans honored by the school.

"It's wonderful they let the kids know what went on in the past and what the veterans thought for," said Vietnam veteran Ron Lagorio, who was thankful to be a part of the event.

It's a feeling shared by Desert Storm vet John Haire.

"It's great. I read the kids' notes on the walls and the pictures they drew. It's awesome that they recognize and honor their veterans," Haire said.

Meanwhile, students like Lila said they're just as honored to have the vets as special guests.

"I learned that they protected our country so we can be safe," said Lila.

And while the highlight for most was the medal ceremony, followed by short performance of "My Country 'tis of thee" from the students, kindergarten teacher Marni Idoni said it was the warmth and spirit at breakfast that will stick with her.

"Giving them a reason to gather together and share their stories again and share their stories with other people who can relate. I think that's most special," said Idoni.

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