Twelve year-old Ansley Barousse holds a picture of her dad Bradley as part of the ceremony that took place Thursday morning at the Destin Middle School Media Center to honor veterans. Students were reminded to “please be ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice.”

Inspired by the book “America’s White Table” by Margot Theis Rave, organizers created a display with plenty of symbolism. The empty chair was for the missing soldier who couldn’t be there, the candle symbolizes peace, the round table represents everlasting concern and the white tablecloth stands for the purity of the service members’ intentions. The inverted glasses honor those missing who cannot raise a toast and the slice of lemon is for the bitter fate they endured. The salt and black napkin symbolize the tears and mourning of families waiting for loved ones to return, while the rose and red ribbon represent the strength through faith to find peace for those missing or dead. The Bible represents the strength through faith that they will one day find peace.

For more phots of the day, click through the photo gallery.