SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Government officials, students and staff gathered at Hillcrest High School for a new freedom shrine display and Veterans Day ceremony. 

The updated shrine displays documents of American History. 

“It’s very important that kids know our history of our country therefore we don’t repeat those mistakes that we may have made. This shrine shows a correction of those things that we may have done in the past wasn’t necessarily right but we corrected it and we continue to move forward as country,” said Morris Madden, school resource officer, Simpsonville Police Department. 

After the unveiling, there was a Veterans Day ceremony in the auditorium. 

Teacher Ashley Causey was in charge of organizing the event. She said she came up with the idea to honor her father and father-in-law who were veterans who passed away in 2021. 

“Just preparing the slides when I put both of their pictures in the slideshow I was pretty emotional because that’s my dad and my father-in-law that I’m showing to my kids around school and I want them to be able to understand their sacrifice because both of them ultimately left us early because of their selfless service to the Vietnam War,” said Causey. 

She said students were able to hear testimonies of veterans, learn about the history of the tomb of the unknown soldier and learn the meaning of the white table that honors unidentified fallen soldiers. 

“I want to make it an important aspect of their knowledge as they leave high school and then some may actually enter the military. I think it’s important for them to see how veterans are thanked, because veterans are ultimately giving their life and sacrifice for our country,” said Causey.

Causey and her students spent two months planning the ceremony. 

“I enjoyed being a part of this program because it gives me a first hand view of the importance of our veterans. To all of the veterans out there, thank you. Thank you for the things that you have done and putting your life down on the line for us, we thank you,” said Esmeralda Desmesmin. 

According to the school, they plan to continue the tradition of honoring veterans with a ceremony every year.