Scarselli Elementary students, staff and guests stood at attention Thursday with hands over their hearts as the Pledge of Allegiance was recited at the school's annual Veterans Day ceremony.
While some students looked at the ceremony as a respite from classwork, sixth-grader Rebecca Delporto took its meaning to heart, having two cousins serving in the Air Force.
"It means a day I can respect my cousins knowing they are serving our country," the 11-year-old said through tears. "It means to me they love our country, and are brave enough to serve."
Nine-year-old Aden Pillsbury's father served four years in the Navy.
"He worked on helicopters for a long time," Aden said. "I like veterans because they serve the country and help us."
Gardnerville resident Fred Edmonds was invited to the ceremony by his two grandchildren.
"It's wonderful. This is really a great thing," the Army veteran said. "It's nice the kids learn about this."
As for his time in the infantry fighting in South Korea from 1967-1969, Edmonds was nostalgic.
"There was a war going on, and I volunteered. I wasn't drafted," he said. "It was a good experience for me, especially now looking back on it."
Sixth-grader Andrea Perry was thankful for the sacrifices the veterans made for the country.
"Veteran's Day is to honor people for the good things they've done to protect us," the 12-year-old said. "My grandfather was in the U.S. Navy. I'd like to thank them for all they've done. I'd like to be like them one day."
Douglas High School ninth-grader and JROTC member Chandler Howe carried the American flag in the presentation of the colors.
"It's a big honor representing the United States, and carrying the American flag," she said. "I want to protect and honor the U.S., and serve my country. It feels like the right thing to do."
Gardnerville Ranchos resident John Paine served two years on active duty in the Navy, 30 years in the reserve, and worked civil service before retirement.
"All I've known is military," he said. "This ceremony is great for the kids. They gotta learn somewhere."
Scarselli principal Brandon Swain said the Veterans Day ceremony is the most attended event the school hosts.
"There's a lot of families that have service people, and they need to be recognized for their service to the country," he said. "It's a small thing, but it means a lot to the service people."