PARADISE, Calif. - Monday was the first day back in class for the Paradise High School choir.
Last week, 43 students sang at the 75th commemoration of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The group was the only California choir invited to sing at the ceremony and it was the first trip to Hawaii for most of them.
Many students said they were at a loss for words to describe the experience. Initially, they were mainly focused on singing at the main event, but when two Pearl Harbor survivors wheeled into their airport gate, the students broke out in "God Bless America" right there.
"It was a neat moment and a great way to leave Hawaii," said Sam Gronseth, Paradise High Choir teacher.
"I'm just gonna treasure it forever," said Senior Riley Hall. "And singing at the 75th anniversary was just, it was just, an honor."
"But most of all it was the fact that we just got to be there and do it and have that honor to be part of this celebration," said Heavenlea Baker, another student who went to Hawaii.
The group sang on the deck of the USS Missouri and later as part of the official parade kick off on Pearl Harbor day, with several impromptu Christmas carols and classics belted out along the parade route.
It was an experience the students said they will never forget.