MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Over 100 veterans received a standing ovation from Monrovia Middle School students and staff Tuesday morning.
The school hosted its 8th Annual Veterans Day Celebration to acknowledge those in the community who have served in the military.
The roaring applause lasted for more than five minutes as each veteran made their way into the gymnasium.
“It’s an honor to be here,” retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Donald Manning told News 19. “We all played a part in our history.”
A snippet of Manning’s role came after his decision to volunteer for military service in 1952. A year later he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as the Commander of the U.S. Navy Seals in 1962. He would serve as Commander until his retirement in 1985.
From the seas to the skies, these students and staff members wanted to ensure each veteran was honored.
“We want to make sure that the military-connected families in this community know and understand that we value the service and commitment that they’ve made to our community and our country,” Monrovia Principal Keith Trawick told News 19.
Breakfast was served before heading into the gymnasium for a full program orchestrated by Monrovia History Teacher Mark Lambert. Lambert also pioneered the creation of the school’s Veterans Day Celebration in 2014.
During the program, special recognition was made to Vietnam War Veterans and one young-hearted WWII Veteran, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Arthur Hullett.
The 96-year-old serviceman served in WWII and later the Korean War in 1953.
Hullett described his “thrilled” feelings to be thanked by so many community members.
“All the accolades have been coming in my old age… and I like it,” said Hullett. “It kinda’ makes me want to go back and serve again.”
Although these men and women served in various parts of the world, they were able to be honored under one roof.
“It’s like a camaraderie between the different services,” said Manning. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, the Army or the Coast Guard. They all have a willingness to serve and that’s really what it has to do with.”