Although it's been decades since World War II veteran Varise Mountain's death, Pattie Webb ensures that each year on Pearl Harbor Day, he is visited by family and honored for his sacrifice.
For the past few years, she and her sister, Bobbi Mosher, always make it a point to go to memorial garden in front of Chocachatti Elementary School as part of a Pearl Harbor Day ceremony presented by members of the Telephone Pioneers of Spring Hill and We Remember 27-H-1.
While many might have treated Friday like any other day, it's at the elementary school where the sisters can honor their father and be surrounded by those who share their feelings about the importance of remembering those who died while serving in World War II.
"We're the only family members who show up every year to honor them," Mosher said of the fallen veterans. "And years from now, there will still be family who come here for this."
Twelve years ago, children planted trees in front of the school to represent a Hernando County serviceman who died while serving in World War II.
During Friday's ceremony, students placed flags in front of each of those trees as Hernando County School Board Superintendent Bryan Blavatt read the names of each honoree. They also sang patriotic songs
Blavatt, who is retiring at the end of the school year, became teary-eyed as he shared with the audience attending how the ceremony reminds him each year of his deceased father, who also was a veteran.
He added that it is his belief children should continue to be exposed to the teachings of those from generations past, who exemplify attributes such as patriotism, courage and integrity.
"We have our values today because of those who have fought and died for us," Blavatt said. "We can't then have these values become lost as we lose those from our past generations."