BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Quailwood Elementary goes big for Veterans Day and recognizes the legacy of the men and women who served, bringing back memories of why they defended the country.

“I’m going to cry… my memories is losing the people that we really love,” said Alma Casas Morales with the National Guard, “I joined because of 9/11 and I’m just happy, happy that we’re here. And the people that we’ve lost to be here… thank you.”

Students presented songs and poems to veterans, thanking them for their sacrifices.

The bagpipes played, and handshakes, tears, and hugs were exchanged, as gratitude and respect for all our veterans in Kern.

“I feel a pride that is overwhelming,” said Richard Knight, Marine Corps Veteran, “Sometimes I have a little anxiety, I do suffer with Post Traumatic Stress, but I think about where our world is going, that is not right. We don’t love one another like we used to, we love self.”

Every veteran in attendance had their dedicated moment as they came to the front to introduce themselves, their branch of service, and mention their kid enrolled in Quailwood.

This year, international conflicts highlight the importance of every person in service.

“In Israel, I just, I think about those people are there sacrificing immediately. We have missionaries that are helping the people there, providing food, and spiritual leadership, and water, etc. In the midst of a war, a nasty war,” said Richard Knight.