Students from the Bowman County High School honored America’s veterans this week at the Veterans Day Program in the school gym. There, over 25 local veterans who spanned all generations and branches of the military received recognition for their years of service and sacrifice.
By Frank Turner
According to High School Principal Tyler Senn, Bowman County School has organized a Veterans Day Assembly every year for roughly 15 years.
“Our communities have a strong tie to military and our veterans,” said Senn. “It’s important that kids understand why they are getting Monday off. It’s not just a day off of school, it’s to honor the veterans, and we do our small part to teach that and honor the people that we need to honor.”
The event opened with the school choir singing the Start Spangled Banner. After the anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and musical selection, Senn began the program by thanking all veterans for their service.
“Today it is our privilege to say thank you to all our American veterans, especially those here with us today, to let them know that we appreciate them for their service and honor them for their sacrifices.” said Senn, addressing both students and parents.
After a quick introduction, Senn welcomed Guest Speaker Dan Peterson, a U.S. veteran with over 25 years of service in the military, to the stage. Peterson then introduced members from each branch of the military, asking them to stand up when their branch was called.
Attending the event were veterans from nearly every postmodern war, from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan. Peterson said that even though the veterans covered a wide age range, they all shared a “special bond.”
“When you are a veteran, it’s a lot like being on a sports team,” Peterson told the students. “Veterans span generations and we have a bond that’s hard to explain… The common thread is the sheer guts it takes to hand that blank check over to the government for the amount of, up to and including, the most valuable thing a person has – his or her life.”
In his speech, Peterson outlined what Veterans Day meant to him.
“Veterans Day serves a very important purpose,” said Peterson. “It’s the day we recognize not just those who have given their lives in war, but all of those who have worn the uniform for service. This day, above all, is the opportunity to celebrate the choice one makes to serve their country.”
He continued, “Veterans have given us freedom, security, and the greatest nation on earth, so we must remember them, we must appreciate them, and remember them.