VINTON, Va. (WDBJ7) Veterans were front and center for a ceremony of military precision and patriotic music, from the students of William Byrd High School and Herman L. Horne Elementary.
William Byrd graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran Daniel Wickham encouraged the students to speak up, ask questions and get to know the men and women in their community who've worn uniforms of the U.S. armed forces.
"You can never imagine what some of these veterans have been through," Wickham told his audience. "And what I challenge you to do for Veterans Day is go ask them those questions. Say, I want to know your story. and get to know them not only as a veteran, but as a person."
Vietnam veteran Richard Carcella was invited by his granddaughter Savannah Daining, who is a Captain in the Junior ROTC program.
"I'm not from this area. and to be invited by my granddaughter means more to me than I can even express," Carcella told us.
"I was actually over there at the detail about to cry when they were talking about the veterans being here, because he lives in North Carolina and I don't see him very often, but just him being here at an event like this means the world to me," Daining said.
William Byrd has a Wall of Honor with the names of former students and others with a connection to the school who have served in the military, just one of many ways Roanoke County Public Schools are honoring veterans this week and next.