When three homeless veterans were to be laid to rest, with no loved ones to serve as pallbearers, six Detroit high school students stepped forward to dignity and give respect to the departed heroes, ABC News reports.
According to the report, five seniors and a junior from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in Detroit, Michigan ‘rode together to the funeral, carried the casket to the grave and prayed together afterward for each of the unclaimed veterans.’
The experience made an impression on the students, who said and they were “honored” to be a part of it. They were apprehensive at first, but ultimately grateful for the chance to witness the funeral customs from the Army, Air Force, and Marines.
One of the students, Joshua Gonzalez, said: “I was glad and truly honored to have experienced and served those veterans who sacrificed their lives for our country. Being their pallbearer was just a little something that I could do to repay them for what they did for all of us.”
The school said a pallbearer program was set up for the occasion. The idea for the program came from the students themselves during a discussion about how they could serve the community. Students traveled to Cleveland to learn about a similar program for funerals of veterans who had not been claimed by loved ones.
Funeral home director Terry Desmond said the pallbearer program “says a lot about the school and the young men who attend there.”
According to Today News, the students named their program after Joseph of Arimathea, the wealthy biblical figure many Christians see as the most important pallbearer in history, having cared for Jesus Christ’s body after his crucifixion.
Rest in peace heroes. One can easily hear each veteran making his final journey with these students saying, “The honor is mine.”