Gautier High students and staff honor military heroes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier High students and staff honor military heroes

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Students salute veterans at the Gautier High School gym. Students salute veterans at the Gautier High School gym.
Veterans and their family members sitting at the Gautier High School gym. Veterans and their family members sitting at the Gautier High School gym.
GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -

Those who fought for our freedom were honored Monday at Gautier High School. Students and staff personally thanked hundreds of veterans for defending our nation. 

The minute the military heroes walked into Gautier High, students and staff began giving them the royal treatment. The veterans received everything from special rose boutonnieres to a big Southern breakfast.

"I am veteran from World War II and I am proud to be here," one Biloxi resident said. 

"It is just a warm feeling," veteran Pearl Banks said. 

"It just gives you chill bumps," veteran Frederick Nicholson said. 

Nicholson dedicated 20 years to serving our country, and he said it feels good to know these young people care. 

"These kids look up to us," Nicholson said. 

The admiration continued inside the school's gym where 1,000 students chanted USA and waved flags during a special ceremony. Then Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Commissioner Dr. Hank Bounds praised the brave crowd for making a lasting mark throughout history. 

"Whether it was the men and women fighting for our independence or the warriors who are fighting in current day Afghanistan to protect us from terrorism, thank you," Bounds said. 

Bounds told teens let the soldiers' selfless service be a lesson that freedom is not free. 

"Our veterans paid a huge price so that we can have the opportunity to get an education and live the best, successful life possible," said Bounds. 

This is the 13th year Gautier High has put on this celebration. Organizers plan to do it again next year, so that everyone who is fighting for our country or who has served knows they're loved and appreciated.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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