SENECA, Mo. — Some local high school students are spending their first hours of summer break honoring fallen veterans. It’s an almost 20-year long tradition in Seneca.

The start of summer vacation usually means pool parties and staying up late with friends. However, as soon as school got out at Seneca High on Thursday, students involved with the Future Farmers of America organization had other plans.

“The FFA comes out and they, for Memorial Day, put out flags for people that are veterans, that served in Air Force, Navy, any of the armed forces, like the Marine Corps. They put flags on those graves so those people are recognized,” said Sonya Bruegel, FFA student’s parent/Seneca Special Ed Teacher/Seneca School Board Member.

“Well, we come out and we do this, putting flags on anybody who served in the military’s grave, such as army, navy, any of those branches,” said Paxton Bruegel, sophomore at Seneca High School.

This is something FFA students have done for nearly 20 years now, and members of the Seneca Cemetery Board said they always look forward to getting the help as well as having the opportunity to show the students who came before them.

“One thing is, it shows them that people did fight… for them. So it means a lot to the board to have them put these out, for one thing then we don’t have to,” said Janet Wright, Chairperson of the Seneca Cemetery Board.

Paxton Bruegel, sophomore at Seneca High, is a fourth-generation FFA member and just finished his freshman year at Seneca High School.

He said, despite it being his first hours of summer vacation, he has one thing in mind.

“Go and honor them, even if it’s hot outside, cold outside, one day we put flags out in the pouring rain and yet we still did it because it’s that important to honor those people who fought for the freedom of America.”

The group of students will head back to the cemetery next week to clean up and collect their decorations.