By Todd Martin
Special to the Daily Herald
The National Junior Honor Society at Rancier Middle School in Killeen wanted to show their support for soldiers and used the Veterans Day holiday to go to school and construct a Wall of Honor.
Math teacher and honor society co-sponsor Cheryl Samples said she was greatly impressed with the initiative of her students to volunteer their time on a school holiday to do what they could to support the troops.
On Wednesday, 16 of the 18 honor society members arrived at school at 9 a.m. to cut and paste ribbons and newspaper tributes to honor the victims of the Fort Hood shootings the week before.
On Thursday, the students gathered after school for more than an hour to continue work on the bulletin board on a hallway inside the school.
A large heart constructed like a U.S. flag serves as the center of the wall of honor, with biographies of the 13 victims and yellow ribbons stapled around it in memorial.
Students said after finishing the initial work to honor those who died Nov. 5, they would add photos of Rancier staff members and students' parents who are serving in the military or retired from service.
The honor society was holding its regular meeting Tuesday discussing projects when "as a group they said they wanted to come in on Veterans Day and do a wall of honor for the soldiers who died and then open it up for the campus," Samples said.
"It was very moving and humbling to me that they volunteered their time on a holiday," the teacher said. "They did it all by hand. I was impressed it came together so quickly."
"Those people contributed so much," said eighth-grader Laura Smith. "It's our little way we can say thank you.
"It's just sad people had to die," Smith said. "We would have made this anyway, but it's sad we had to put them on there first."