Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

State Recognizes School Veterans Day Performances


Kimball Public Schools, Potter-Dix and more than 200 Nebraska schools are being recognized by Secretary of State John Gale for hosting Veterans Day events this year.

Teachers say these events continue to be well received by students, their communities and more importantly, local veterans. Many schools invite servicemen and women to share their experiences during those programs. “They can be quite moving for those in attendance,” said Gale. “It’s really something for those veterans to see how young people respond to their stories. It’s a very public way for our communities to say, ‘Thank you.’”

Gale was invited to speak at two assemblies this year at Fremont High School in Fremont and Irving Middle School in Lincoln.

“I’m always inspired by the variety of programs that the schools put together. We provide a detailed and helpful template that schools can follow on our website. But many schools go above and beyond in their planning. My office heard from several schools that served either breakfast or lunch to the veterans who attended their programs.”

Gale sponsors the Honor a Veteran program which encourages schools to host Veterans Day events as a way to promote civics education as well as recognize the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.

“In 2011, 157 schools took part in the program,” explained Gale. “This year we saw quite a leap in participation. That’s very encouraging and I hope that even more schools will see the benefit of organizing these events.”

Programs can include: the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic music, student readings and a keynote address.

Those organized this year involved other elements as well. SDA Public Schools in Syracuse awarded checks to students who had winning entries in the Voice of Democracy Essay Contest sponsored by the VFW. The program at Madison High School featured a student-made video.  At Elm Creek Public Schools, students were treated to a demonstration by military dogs and their handlers from Offutt Air Force Base.

Kimball students performed musical numbers and took part in dramatic readings.

“Less than one percent of our citizens serve in our armed forces.  They are the backbone for defending our nation as well as promoting freedom in the world,” said Gale. We should say ‘thank you’ every chance we get both to veterans and to those in active service”.  

Gale will send certificates of appreciation to each school and classroom that notified his office that it held a 2012 Veterans Day event.


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