Saying ‘thank you’ – Guntersville High School students use their time and talents to honor veterans

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Thursday morning in Guntersville, more than 50 veterans were honored by students from Guntersville High School, who used their time and talent to say "thank you."

Front and center of the Guntersville High School auditorium are dozens of veterans, who sit and converse much quieter than the young people around them.

After a while, the lights dim and the talking - both loud and quiet - ceases.

Guntersville High School Principal Roseanne Mabrey steps to the podium to address the crowd. "Our students would like to pay tribute to you today," she says.

The large rustle of hundreds of people standing fills the room as the Pledge of Allegiance is said, words ingrained in memory. The band quietly picks up their instruments, the choir behind them slides slowly into place, and the National Anthem starts.

"We're here to honor our veterans who have fought in wars that amounted to our freedoms here," Guntersville High School senior Frank McLaughlin says.

McLaughlin joins fellow seniors Macy Patterson and Garrett Booth in that all three have performed in this program throughout their high school careers.

"We don't get a lot of opportunities to share our thanks to the people who served our country, and I feel that this little program that we do goes a long way," Booth says.

All of the branches are honored with musical performances by the student-filled band, as their combined efforts ring out loudly in the auditorium.

Behind them, the choir sings the words many of the veterans mouth by heart. "I think that it's important that we recognize the veterans," Patterson says, "Here we can sing songs, and just show our thanks to them."

Words are recited, a song is song, a slide show plays.

They're recognizing veterans, and as Taps is played, the students remember all of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

All in all, it's a way to say "thank you."

"We just wanted to honor them today by doing this," McLaughlin says.