Veteran’s Day observed at NRHEG schools
VETERAN’S DAY PROGRAM — State Senator Julie Rosen addresses students as the keynote speaker during NRHEG High School’s Veteran’s Day program Monday, Nov. 12. (Star Eagle photo by Jessica Lutgens)
By JESSICA LUTGENS
What does patriotism mean to you?
That’s what State Senator Julie Rosen asked the students of NRHEG High School when speaking at this year’s Veteran’s Day Program, held on Monday, November 12. Along with her speech, the program consisted of readings from various students, performances by both the band and choir, and awards for the poster and essay contests.The program started with the Presentation of Colors by the New Richland American Legion, closely followed with the National Anthem, performed by the high school band. Eighth-graders Natalie Aaseth and Grace Johns then led a reading and the Pledge of Allegiance before Principal Paul Cyr took the podium to welcome everyone to the program, as well as recognize NRHEG’s Veterans, Frank Whitcomb and Brad Root, and thank Georgia Dinneen for putting the program together every year.
Jeff Jessen introduced the New Richland American Legion Members one by one, and a reading by senior Nathan Wallin followed.
Each year a poster contest is held among the sixth-graders, as well as an essay contest in grades eight and 12. Allie Larson announced the winners of the Lions Club Peace Poster Contest. Madison Pineda won first place, Aubrey Johnson second and Darian Mahlman third.
Dineen then announced the winners of the eighth-grade essay contest, judged by the New Richland American Legion members: first place, Oakley Baker; second place, Maci Surat; third place, Sam Prigge. The winners from the senior class included: first place, Cassie Roberts; second place, Noelle Bartness; third place, Gage Flatness.
The winners of the essay contests read each of their papers aloud, and Cyr took the podium again to introduce Rosen. After her speech, the band played “God Bless America,” and following that was a reading and a song by the Men’s Chorus. Tara Simon, senior, continued the program with another reading, followed by a conclusion by Cyr and the playing of Taps by the band’s director, Tim Siewert.
Following the program was a presentation of a check for $10,000 to NRHEG Schools by Alliance Pipeline.
Many young people don’t understand just how important our veterans are, which is one of the purposes of holding the program every year. Students were reminded to thank a veteran; after all, without them, our country wouldn’t be anywhere near what it is today.
Here’s Cassie Roberts’ first-place essay:
What Veteran’s Day means to me. It means seeing your life in flashes because you weren’t always home to see your friends and family. It means fighting for not only your freedome but also for the freedom of your country. It means a life changing event that will not only improve your life and your family’s life, but the life of this country, and for future generations. It means risking your life for what you believe in, but unfortunately also leaving your family when getting drafted. November 11th isn’t for a day free from work or from school. It is about honoring the dearly beloved citizens and Veterans from our great U.S. of A. It only wish I could thank each individual for making this country what it is today. But the first thing I would say to our great Veterans is no one will ever truly understand what you have been through. Thank you for your great amount of courage that each of you have. Thank you for being you. Thank you for allowing me to have a great life and a bright future ahead of me. Without each and every Veteran and their family, I wouldn’t have any freedoms, I would not be able to attend school, I would not be able to further my learning and pursue the career to be successful. So on this Veteran’s Day, I would love to know that every family knows that we would not be living the wonderful life we are living without the bravery of these amazing soldiers alive, and the ones who have passed. God bless the soldiers that have changed our lives for the better, and God bless the ones that have passed. Thank you. I will never be able to find the right words to express my gratitude. On November 11th, 2012, I will remember 9-11, I will remember Peark Harbor, I will remember all the times this great country has triumphed over our enemies because the courage that our soldiers had. I will remember all the Veterans of this great country. And when I see a Veteran, I will be sure to tell them how much I appreciate them. What Veteran’s Day means to me is not a free day, it is a day dedicated to Veterans and their families, because we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Thank you!