Retired Marine Brig. Gen. Denis Shortal, left, shakes Bill Nicols’ hand after the Veterans Day Memorial Service at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody on Nov. 11. Nichols fought in World War II in the Army Air Corp.

School children, elected officials and members of the armed forces took time Nov. 11 to honor the nation’s veterans.

In Sandy Springs, about 200 people gathered in Morgan Falls Overlook Park for the city’s second Veterans Day celebration. They heard tales of heroism and stories about the little things soldiers do that people take for granted — a sentinel guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns during a hurricane; a young soldier away from home on Christmas Day, guarding a military base.

Retired Lt. Gen. James R. “Ron” Helmly, former chief of the U.S. Army Reserve, said military service isn’t just another job. “It’s a responsibility,” he said. “It’s a fulfillment of a sacred duty.”

In Dunwoody, City Councilman Denis Shortal, a retired U.S. Marines brigadier general, told people gathered at Brook Run Park that it’s important to thank those who have served and celebrate freedom on Veterans Day. “There are a lot of veterans that are not here today,” Shortal said. “They gave up their tomorrows so you and I can have our today.”

And in schools scattered across Buckhead, Brookhaven and nearby communities, students cheered veterans who came to visit.

At Overlook Park, First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs Rev. Kenneth Link said Veterans Day was not about honoring war, but honoring warriors.

“We do not like war,” Link said. “Only a fool would enjoy war, but father God, we lift up the honor and dignity of righteous conflict and we recognize there are times in this world when diplomacy does not work.”

St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Brookhaven held its annual Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 11. Kindergarten and pre-first grade students sang a melody of songs including “This Land is Your Land,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “There’s a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere.”

Holy Spirit Preparatory School honored Veterans Day by presenting the nation’s colors. Clockwise from left, Patrick Russell, Daniel Jones, Angelina Tuggle and Ella Jones, members of the Color Guard, take care with the flag.

Color Guard members, left to right, Sargeant Buruca, Private First Class Puc Evans, Staff Sargeant D’Avilar and Sargeant Ruiz prepare for the Veterans Day celebration at Morgan Falls Overlook Park in Sandy Springs on Nov. 11. Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson and other special guests attended the event.