Hinton High School student honors veterans and military members in a special way

Laura Brighton, 18, stands center between WWII Veteran Darvin Hartman and Lieutenant Colonel Deanna Pennings with the United States Air Force.

A Northwest Iowa teen is honoring military members in a special way.

The Hinton High School senior led the school's first Veteran's Day ceremony for the men and women who helped give us freedom.

From World War II Veterans, current military members to aspiring soldiers and sailors, it was a day of honoring the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

"Thank you because we wouldn't be able to do the things we do today if it wasn't for you," said Laura Brighton, 18.

The first ceremony of its kind, it was also a dream come true for Brighton who has been planning for the event since last year.

"We also need to show our respects for those locally. I thought this would be a great opportunity to do this," said Brighton.

"Laura did a beautiful job. This is something different that Hinton has never had," said Darvin Hartman, a WWII Veteran who was born in Hinton.

"I'm awe inspired by Laura Brighton's work and her project," said Lieutenant Colonel Deanna Pennings, United States Air Force.

And though it's part of her project for DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, which is an international non-profit group of students pursuing careers in business and marketing, Brighton said she does this, wholeheartedly because she wants to thank those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

"I wouldn't be able to hangout with my friends or my family. Everything that we do is because of you guys. So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," said Brighton.

Hinton students of all ages filled the gymnasium, some dressed in military uniforms.

"And I just want to thank them serving our country," said Daneah Williams, 5th grader.

"It's just meaningful," said Nicholas Lindley, 11.

"Because all of our parents and our uncles and everybody in our family has joined the military," said Garrett, 12.

"And if we could have more of these, I think that would be fantastic," said Jacob Lindley, 15.

Members of the American Legion sat among WWII Veterans and current military members for the special event.

"An honor really for her to organize something this magnitude to honor our vets," said Betty Wendt, HHS principal.

Brighton said she hopes the school will continue this tradition after she graduates.

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