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Students honor veterans at area cemeteries

ORANGE — One is never too young to show respect and honor veterans as shown by middle school and junior high students on Monday.

Mauriceville Middle School National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), West Orange Stark Middle School NJHS, Little Cypress Junior High NJHS, Bridge City Middle School NJHS and Orangefield Junior High NJHS and Student Council placed flags on all veterans’ graves at Orange Forest Lawn and Hillcrest Memorial Gardens cemeteries to honor veterans.

This is the third year the schools have joined together to honor the 1,180 men and women in their final resting place.

Hillcrest Memorial Gardens is the final resting place for 880 veterans with 300 at Orange Forest Lawn.

“An Eagle Scout, as part of his community project, helped mark each grave on a map during the summer,” Katie Mims, outreach coordinator with Claybar Funeral Homes and Cemeteries said.

Jim Seales, Commander Dist.2 VFW Post 2775, told the students the last WWI veteran past away during the summer.

“It takes five to support one,” Seales said. “When you hear 50 troops are being sent somewhere, it means 250 persons are going.”

Seales also said organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion work together to bring home those missing in action or prisoners of war.

“We celebrate Veteran’s Day to celebrate our brothers and sisters and their families,” Seales said. “This may be their final resting place but they will always be in the hearts of veterans.”

Seales also reminded students the importance of studying history.

“Learn your history,” Seales said. “If you don’t, America is subject to repeat past mistakes.”

Supporting veterans and their families by reaching out or volunteering was another way to honor veterans, Seales suggested.

Todd Tarver, vice president of VFW Post 2775 Auxiliary, was also at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens to help answer any questions the students may have.