Britton Elementary School students honored veterans at a school assembly Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Britton Elementary School students honored veterans at a school assembly Wednesday, Nov. 11.

About 50 veterans, including several World War II veterans and those active in the military, attended the annual event.

The late Robert Spicer established the program at the school while he was principal.

Britton students have performed the tribute that includes patriotic music and poetry for eight years, said principal Stephanie Borlaza.

"Our program is not only to honor our veterans but to help our students understand (veterans are why) this country is so amazing," Borlaza said.

The 60-minute program also is educational, Borlaza said, as students learned about some of the nation's conflicts, how Veterans Day was established and patriotic symbols of the country.

"Veterans Day and its meaning are part of the curriculum," Borlaza said.

At the conclusion of the program, each veteran spoke briefly, introducing themselves, their service and their connection to Britton Elementary School, which often included grandchildren attending the school.

Among the veterans recognized was Bob Apel, who served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Apel told children "freedom is not free" and said he hopes students begin to understand the need for future generations to maintain the country's freedoms.