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Residents step up to honor veterans

Denton County residents deserve a pat on the back for some outstanding veterans’ tributes this year. Many of our communities hosted parades or ceremonies to commemorate Veterans Day, and several of the observances were organized by young people, which made them especially meaningful.

One of these occurred on Friday night when the Denton High School Air Force Junior ROTC honored World War II veterans during halftime of the Broncos’ football game against Byron Nelson High School.

A community member had challenged the school to raise $1,000 to send one North Texas veteran on a trip to Washington, D.C., with Honor Flight DFW to see war memorials and meet with other veterans. After working on the project for several weeks, students announced that they had raised $3,000, enough to send three veterans on the trip.

That’s terrific, and we commend the students who organized the effort and everyone who helped the cause. This is a great way to say thanks to members of the “Greatest Generation.”

A Veterans Day parade in Lake Dallas also had a young organizer. This event was an American Heritage Girls service project and the brainchild of Lydia Bishop, 17.

Between 200 and 300 people attended the parade, which ended at the Veterans Memorial at City Park in Lake Dallas, where a reception for veterans was held.

Bishop, a member of American Heritage Girls Troop 191 in the Lake Cities area and the granddaughter of a Vietnam veteran, the late Ronald McKoon, worked on the project for more than a year. She said she organized the event to say thank you to all veterans and to provide a welcome that some veterans didn’t get when they came home.

Thank, you, Lydia, for spearheading this project.

Veterans, family and community members gathered on the lawn of the Denton County Courthouse on the Square on Monday to honor veterans for their service and sacrifice.

The program was a joint effort between the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and Denton County and featured the Sam Houston Singers, Ryan High School Junior ROTC members and the TWU Brass Ensemble.

Participating Junior ROTC members included 16-year-old McKenzie Seals, who told us everyone should show their appreciation for veterans and that we need to teach more about Veterans Day.

We agree, and we believe the many area events held to honor veterans this year was an excellent way to start the process. What better way to teach about the importance of Veterans Day than to invite your neighbors to a ceremony or parade honoring veterans?

And thanks to our many dedicated young people, we are confident that future Veterans Day celebrations will be bigger and better than ever.