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Area schools honor veterans

Both Pine River-Backus and Pequot Lakes schools hosted Veterans Day ceremonies recently, reminding students of the sacrifice of American veterans.

At Pine River-Backus schools on Monday, Nov. 11, Sgt. Michael Stanek, member of the National Guard for more than 11 years, spoke to students about the importance of a positive attitude and reminded students to thank veterans for their sacrifice.

“Know that your support for your veterans is important,” Stanek said.

The high school and elementary choirs both sang patriotic songs, and the high school band played two songs, including taps.

A table setting was in place for the POW/MIA (prisoner of war/missing in action) veteran who couldn’t be at the ceremony. The table was set with a white tablecloth, candle, rose and lemon on the plate. Each element of the setting was symbolic for sacrifices soldiers made.

At Pequot Lakes High School, students heard from Col. Scott St. Sauver, post commander at Camp Ripley.

St. Sauver visited the school for the ceremony Thursday, Nov. 7, and suggested that students ask veterans their stories and learn about the service they provided their country. He said students, once old enough, can honor veterans by voting.

Students also heard from Bob Uppgaard, 90-year-old World War II veteran. Uppgaard was one of three WWII veterans who attended the ceremony.

Using Face Time technology, a live video conference with Capt. Craig Nelson, currently stationed in Afghanistan, was projected onto the gym wall. Students were able to ask Nelson questions and hear about his experience.

High school principal Chip Rankin, a veteran himself, reminded students of the service that veterans provide them.

“We live in the greatest country our earth has ever witnessed and live the best lives of any humans on the planet,” Rankin said.