Bellefonte Elementary School held a special Veterans Day ceremony Friday to honor friends and family members who have served their country.
Pupils invited relatives who have served or are currently serving to the event, which began with a procession honoring the veterans. Students stood with their parents or grandparents before marching down the aisles together.
Jacob Burd, who serves in the Army, walked in as his daughter, second-grader Rachel Smith, 7, clung to him with her arms wrapped around his waist.
The students cheered during the processional as each branch of the military was recognized with its official song. First-grader Quinn Sanderson stood and threw both arms in the air to honor the veterans.
After the procession, the veterans stood proudly on the stage as the Bellefonte VFW Honor Guard presented the colors.
Centre County Sheriff Denny Nau, a Marine Corps veteran, stood with his granddaughter, Josselynn Nau, 7, a second-grader. They had their hands over their hearts.
“Anytime you see the flag, you hear the national anthem and taps, you get goose bumps,” Nau said. “I am so impressed and honored to be here. It’s so important that we instill this pride in our youth.”
Some veterans became emotional as they sat onstage and the children stood and sang to them. First-grader Lily Cramer, wearing an American flag shirt, waved a flag during the singing.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, then gave the keynote address, and the ceremony finished with cookies for the veterans and many smiles and thank yous.