ATLANTA -- It was a special moment for hundreds of students as they walked in the front door of Morris Brandon Elementary School in Atlanta this morning, shaking hands with Marines and National Guardsmen just back from Afghanistan and Iraq.
For the youngsters, it was more than just another day at school.
"For me it's about honoring the veterans because they are protecting our country. They are keeping us safe and protecting our rights. We usually take that stuff for granted. We really owe them a lot," said Charlotte Taylor, a Morris Brandon student.
"It's about celebrating the people who went off to war. We try to celebrate them and give them our thanks," said Ethan Warrior, another Brandon student.
It's the youngsters taking the time to understand what Veterans Day is all about that makes a deep impression on Timothy Ruddick, a Staff Sgt. in the US Marines, deployed 3 times to Iraq.
"No matter how tough you are, each and every last one of us kind of gets choked up whenever somebody congratulates us for being back or honors us," he said.
For the students at Morris Brandon it's not just a matter of honoring Veterans Day, but it's also about giving. They are collecting magazines and newspapers to send to the troops in Afghanistan.
For the Brandon students, all 800 of them, and their teachers, the Veterans Day celebration had a unique moment.
They assembled in front of the school for a salute to the military, a flag raising ceremony and the pledge of allegiance.
A special way to celebrate and remember a special day.