DIANA (KYTX) - Students at New Diana ISD got an opportunity Monday to shake the hands of some heroes.
The students honored veterans with a program filled with speeches and music, rather than reading about heroes in their history books.
Students like Robert Hough honored them with handshakes and thank you's.
"I just honor the fact that these people have chosen to sacrifice a whole lot for our country and us, and our freedom" Hough said.
The Diana community and Cracker Barrel came together to create and hand out more than 1,500 flyers to get veterans and others to attend the event.
Cracker Barrel General Manager John Jones says it was a natural fit to sponsor the event.
"I'm a veteran myself, served 20 years, and Cracker Barrel was founded by a Marine. And we are just proud to be here," Jones said.
Some folks were surprised at how many people attended the event.
"I really didn't expect that many people to come and thank me for what I did, and they may not understand everything veterans have done and they don't have to," Parker Sweeney, retired Air Force, said.
Veterans like Sweeney said they enjoy seeing the patriotism of the kids and hope it teaches them to not take what they have for granted.
Students poured out their hearts to veterans in special speeches
"When I write I write what I would just say. I don't really think it through and try to say something different besides what I really mean - which is thank you for servicing and sacrificing for the freedom of this nation," Hough said.
And whether students were part of Monday's program or in the audience, all got a better sense of the sacrifices made by generations of heroes.
Before the event - students at New Diana were challenged to find a veteran in their family or community - seek them out and tell them thank you.