COLUMBIA — Last year, Army Gen. Frank Grass spent Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns where President Barack Obama spoke and presented a wreath.
This year, Grass, who became the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau in September, joined his grandsons at Ridgeway Elementary School's annual Veterans Day luncheon. Grass said he couldn't think of a better way to celebrate then to be with his two grandsons.
Grass' grandson, Cullen Scott, 10, said he felt his grandfather loved him for coming such a long distance to visit him.
Ridgeway has hosted the luncheon for several years. It's a time for students eat lunch and interact with veterans and active-duty soldiers.
"It's just a way for our school to celebrate our veterans," Principal Ben Tilley said.
At the front of the lunchroom, was a table of handmade cards, decorated with hand-drawn American flags and stars. The cards, made by the students, are given to patients at the Truman Veterans Hospital after the lunch.
"Even though they may not know the children, they'll appreciate the cards," Cletie Warren, a lunchroom staff member, said.
This was the second Ridgeway luncheon for Navy Lt. Cmdr. DeMar Scott. He ate lunch with his two daughters, 9-year-old Denaja and 7-year-old Jaykia. Scott has been serving in the Navy since 1994.
Scott said he believes Veterans Day is a way to honor all those who came before him, and that the luncheon was good way to celebrate it with his children.
For Grass, Veterans Day is a chance to reconnect the population with the military and celebrate with family.
"Because in the end, that's why we serve," Grass said. "For our friends, family and the nation."
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.