By Ashley Rader
With each fallen warrior’s name, an Elizabethton High School student stepped up to offer a eulogy, a belated “Welcome Home” … and a long-awaited “Thank you.”
The honors for EHS students killed during the Vietnam War were at the center of Thursday’s Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home and Memorial Service.
Local veterans and their family members filled the commons area at EHS to take part in the ceremony.
Eleventh-grade students Rachel McAuley and Tyler Livingston, students in Alex Campbell’s American history class, organized the event for local Vietnam veterans, especially those that had graduated from EHS.
“We are not here because we were told to be here,” McAuley said during her opening statement.
“We are here because we want to be. We are here because we want to make a difference. We care because you weren’t treated how American heroes should be treated. We apologize for those who may have hurt you, and we are here to show that history doesn’t have to repeat itself. We hope this small gesture can replace the hurtful memories with healing memories.”