Students, teachers, parents, firefighters, American Legion members and politicians gathered early on May 25 at Hereford High School to honor those who gave their lives for their country.
The names of five alumni and dates of when they died in Vietnam were read aloud: Stefan Stalinski, July 8, 1965; Robert Walters, Sept. 25, 1966; Kenneth Grove, Dec. 15, 1966; John Dudley, July 29, 1967; and Joseph Kelley, July 1, 1969. Two other alumni's names and the dates of when they perished in Iraq were also announced: Norman Anderson, III, Oct. 19, 2005; and Joshua Snyder, Nov. 30, 2005.
All current military personnel were honored, too, at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.
"This ceremony is close to my heart," said Rachel Smith, a freshman, whose father, Lt. Col. Bruce Smith, is serving in Afghanistan. "I know how much it would mean to him that we're doing this."
The school's For Our Troops club organized the ceremony. Club president, Tara Funk, a senior, began the event with a quote from Norman Schwarzkopf, former commander of the Coalition Forces in the 1991 Gulf War.
"It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle," she read, "It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle."