A group of people clad in civilian clothes filed into the gym at Liberty Hill Middle School as a silence had fallen over the crowd of nearly 1,000 students, staff members and family that had gathered.

However, despite their current attire, each one of the men and women that took a seat once wore the uniform of their country – and on Friday afternoon were honored with a Veterans Day ceremony put on by the school.

Following the Pledges of Allegiance to country and state, the Star-Spangled Banner was performed by the Honor Band and history teachers Eddie McNeill and Alicia Skalak provided historical perspective on what exactly Veterans Day means and how it originated.

Next up was the 8th-Grade Treble Choir, which performed the songs of the five Armed Forces before principal Monica Miller stepped to the podium to introduce the guest speaker, U.S. Army Col. Zebadiah Miller of the Texas National Guard.

“I like how purple goes with all the red, white and blue,” said Col. Miller, as he greeted those in attendance. “It's really a privilege for me to be here today.”

As for the educational aspect of the event, Miller said future generations need to be aware of those who came before them in paving the way for freedom.

“It's so important we understand our nation's history and the impact it has had on the entire world,” he said. “Our veterans have not only made our nation great, but time and time again have defended democracy around the world.”

Miller then asked those in attendance to consider something quite profound.

“America is a country of 331 million people,” he said. “However, only five percent of Americans are veterans – think about that for a moment and the sacrifices they've made to help shape so many lives.”

Perhaps the most solemn portion of the program was the “Missing Man Table,” which had been set up in the center of the gym floor for all to see, as students and National Junior Honor Society members Lydia Miller and Abigayle Jenkins explained and demonstrated the various symbols that honor fallen, missing or imprisoned service members and has become a staple of Veterans Day celebrations.

In closing, Miller made one final reference to the influence America's service members have had on our society.

“Veterans Day is a day that wouldn't have happened if our veterans hadn't answered the call to service,” said Miller. “It's a day to make all of America proud.”