Seventy years after graduating from Newport Harbor High School, George Grupe gave the Veteran's Address at his alma mater's 20th annual Memorial Day ceremony.
Having helped organize the first ceremony two decades ago, Grupe has never missed the event that honors Newport Harbor alumni who died while serving in the military.
"We had a lot of Medal of Honor recipients in this area," said Grupe, Class of 1940. "It's something that we can be truly proud of."
More than 300 students, faculty and community members were on hand. While the school does not make attendance at the ceremony mandatory, the event is open to all grades and has always attracted a large gathering of students, Vice Principal David Martinez said.
Student Political Action Committee President Abby Michaelsen, a junior, helped veteran and school alumnus Daron McGavern read the names of 37 Newport Harbor graduates killed in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. A soldier who died while serving in Iraq, Jose Garibay, also was honored.