The students would gather in the gymnasium and watch as the teachers and administrators honored aging men who served in conflicts that ended well before they were born.
But now, some of his kids have parents who are in harm's way in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and teachers have children who risk their lives every day serving their country.
So Walton makes extra effort now to drive the importance of the holiday home to as many students as he can, he said.
This year's program, which begins at 8:30 a.m. today, will feature costumed teachers portraying Uncle Sam and President Woodrow Wilson, who founded Armistice Day, the precursor to Veterans Day, as well as a presentation by a mother whose son is currently in Iraq.
Several local veterans will also receive recognition for their service to the United States.
Cloverdale High School will begin its program at 10 a.m. today and will feature students reading Veteran's Day poems and performances by the Women's Ensemble and the Emerald Command Band.
Cloverdale High School junior and Student Council member Jenna Lewis organized the event for the high school.
She said it is important to honor soldiers and veterans because so many young men and women close to her age are fighting for the country abroad.
To kick of Veterans Day commemoration, Lewis and a handful of other student council members tied yellow ribbons to the light posts along Main Street in Cloverdale.
Cloverdale Elementary School has a program, as well.
Around the county:
* North Putnam Middle School will have a Veterans Day program at 8:30 a.m. on Veterans Day, Monday Nov. 11. It will feature the color guard from the Roachdale Veterans of Foreign Wars post and student essay presentations.
* Central Elementary School's events begin at 10:30 a.m. today and will feature patriotic songs and performances by South Putnam Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt.
* At 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, the Putnam County Veteran's Office will sponsor its annual Veterans Day program at the Courthouse.