MONTREAL—More than a thousand students from John Abbott College, McGill University and Macdonald High School spent Thursday morning at a special ceremony held in the company of 85 veterans.

In a touching ceremony, students took a moment to recognize the commitment and sacrifice of Canada’s soldiers.

“I’m very happy to be here and it does a lot of good. I feel appreciated,” said veteran Patrick Wiggins.

Nearby, John Fetherstonhaugh agreed, listening to a pipe band.

“A very good piper, he should be given a drink,” laughed Fetherstonhaugh.

The ceremony is a long standing tradition here. More than 40 soldiers who lost their lives at war once attended John Abbott College or Macdonald High. Oak trees have been planted in honour of each one.

“I think it’s really important to remember all the people who fought for us, and they give us such freedom and education now and we can live in such a nice atmosphere and environment,” said student Pershea Alae.

For Wiggins, feelings of sadness and loneliness he once felt from the war are now gone.

“Today I don't get that same feeling,” said Wiggins. “Because there are so many people around and the young people have done so much to make us feel good that I feel a lot better for the world.”