Standing on the Bradenton Christian School football field, veteran Mike Moran remembered the first time the Vietnam War “felt real” to him was when he was a young man on the football field.
He remembers his football coach telling the team about a former teammate who died while serving in the war.
“It hit me hard,” he said. “That war suddenly hit me.”
Moran ended up giving six years of service to the military, and spoke to Bradenton Christian students about that service and about different ways to honor veterans. One thing Moran wished he had done, he said, was shake the hand of more World War II veterans when he had the chance. He encouraged students to shake a vet’s hand when they meet them.
Moran also channeled advice he read from Naval Admiral Bill McRaven, who spent 37 years in the service and is now the chancellor of the University of Texas system.
“Make your bed and make it right. It might be only successful thing you do all day,” Moran said.
In addition to hearing from Moran, students representing each grade level from BCS read a prayer to the crowd, asking God to keep current military members safe, help those who have returned from service work through the difficulties of returning to civilian life and praying veterans can find peace and prosperity.
“Lord again, I thank you for our veterans and all they’ve done for us. In your name I pray,” elementary school principal Jeff Myers said to close out the ceremony.