A Salute to Veterans

A Salute to Veterans
Posted on 11/13/2015

On Wednesday, November 11, people across the country took time to remember, honor, and salute veterans.  Several schools in the School District of the Menomonie Area also took part in this year’s Veteran’s Day recognition and, like previous years, this was a good opportunity for the children in our school district to learn more about the sacrifices that so many have made for our country and the spread of freedom around the world.

Having received a special invitation from social studies teacher, Mr. Mike Larson, I spent much of the morning attending the ceremony in the gymnasium at Menomonie Middle School.  It was so encouraging for me to observe participation by students, staff members, community members, and of course, our veterans.  In addition to thanking all veterans for their service to our country, I would also like to thank the Menomonie Honor Guard for presenting the colors and participating in this year’s Veteran’s Day ceremony.

The program at the middle school started with a student welcome, the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, and some opening remarks.  Students then shared prepared comments about Veteran Values, the history of Veteran’s Day, and a few Letters from the Field, which were read to the crowd.  In addition to music from the middle school band, choir, and orchestra, I really enjoyed the Armed Forces on Parade selection.  As the band played and the students sang the songs associated with various branches of the military, those in attendance were asked to stand when the name of their branch of service was called.

The program also included a special flag folding ceremony that featured students folding an American flag and describing the meaning behind the tradition.  Mr. Larson then shared information about the legacy of the Medal of Honor.  Middle school students presented veterans in attendance with homemade thank you cards and then listened to this year’s guest speaker, Staff Sergeant Scott Sauer, from the United States Marine Corps.  Staff Sergeant Sauer shared some of his experiences with the crowd, discussed what it means to be a veteran, and he helped everyone understand his perspective of why freedom is not free.

After the colors were retired by the Menomonie Honor Guard, veterans and other adult spectators met outside of the school by the flagpole for a more intimate gathering that included a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.  I must admit that it is difficult to keep a dry eye when thinking about how much has been sacrificed by so many people.

We have so much to be proud of in the School District in the Menomonie Area, and I am very proud of our students, staff, community members, and veterans, who made Veteran’s Day 2015 such a wonderful experience in our school district.  Should school stakeholders have any questions about our school district, I invite you to visit the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue or contact me at 715-232-1642.  More information about our schools, including some pictures from the Veteran’s Day program, can be found on the school district website (www.sdmaonline.com) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/sdmaonline).