FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) It’s never too late to thank a veteran. On Thursday, students at Lane Middle School were part of an assembly honoring retired veterans and active service members.
The assembly included music from the school’s band and choir in addition to an appearance from the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Pipe and Drum Brigade and Honor Guard.
But the big moment for many of the students was when World War II Veteran George Thompson was honored at the ceremony. Thompson was among about 90 other veterans including Vietnam Veteran Clarence Hicks, who were honored at the ceremony.
“People forget how fortunate and blessed they are to live in America,” Hicks explained, adding that the today more young people have respect for service members then when he first came back from Vietnam.
“When we came back from Vietnam we were looked down upon—not looked at as heroes or men that served our country- we were called names and not really honored as heroes should have been,” Hicks said. “I tell everyone I don’t look at names, I look at I am an American. All the other adjectives that people want to use, that’s on them. I’m an American. I’ve served my country.”
Lane Middle School may have an extra appreciation for service men and women because one of their own is an active member of the Air Force. Adam Montgomery, a special education teacher at the middle school, was deployed with the 122nd in Afghanistan just a year ago. During the previous year’s celebration, Montgomery made a video to share the importance Veterans Day with the student body. This year, he said he’s glad to be home.
“There’s no place like home, I’ll say that. The individuals here, the students, the faculty, the staff, even the people in the community– the military is treated with so much honor, so much respect but yet, one of the great things is the freedoms that previous generations have been able to give us… Some of the Vietnam generation, you know, they didn’t get the respect that we do today,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery said he was honored to be celebrating Veterans Day alongside the heroes of his childhood. “It’s a time when you look at the sacrifices made because protecting our freedoms is never an easy thing,” he said.