JOPLIN, Mo. — Patriotism took center stage at a Joplin school on Friday in honor of Veterans Day.

Stapleton Elementary hosted a gathering that recognized all branches of service and the dedication of the veterans in attendance. The program included the Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic music, and a speech about the significance of the song “Taps.”

Veterans who attended the gathering expressed their appreciation for seeing the kids recognizing their service.

“I love it. I absolutely love it. I love it for my family, I love it for all the veterans ’cause there’s a lot of veterans that don’t get this. Yes, I get teared up,” said Carmen Augustosky, Navy Veteran.

“These kids are awesome. And I really believe that kids even at this age need to understand the importance of veterans. The importance of this day. And it’s just a wonderful opportunity,” said Bob Tignor, Mo. Nat’l Guard Veteran.

Several other schools, including Royal Heights and South Middle School, also hosted Veterans Day gatherings on the same day.