Area schools set to honor veterans
The Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard will be venerated at the Century Middle School's 11th annual Veterans Day program.
Fifth through eighth graders will pay tribute to veterans—replete with vintage military uniforms, patriotic music, history lesson, war memorabilia and a flag-folding ceremony.
They will be joined by the Park Rapids American Legion Color Guard, the Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion.
The public is welcome to attend the event, slated for 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the cafetorium. Several hundred spectators are expected.
This year's theme is "Flags of Our Fathers." Select middle school students will share the history of Old Glory and how it has evolved from American Revolutionary times to modern day. A video presentation will demonstrate the proper disposal of a worn or damaged American flag.
The middle school band will play "The Star Spangled Banner." The middle school choir is also set to perform.
An "Armed Services medley march" incorporates a poetry reading, flag-folding, Taps and salute.
Every attendee receives a memento at the end of the ceremony. This year, it will be an American flag pin.
The Veterans Day program is sustained through donations from individuals and Blue Star Mothers.
Retired teachers Charli Cohrs and LaPalma Anderson have coordinated the Veterans Day program for 11 years. They will organize next year's ceremony, then step down. Anyone interested in taking over or contributing should contact the Century Middle School office at 237-6300.
The Menahga VFW Post 6206 Color Guard and Park Rapids Area Marine Corps League will present the nation's colors to launch the 9 a.m. Veterans Day program in the Menahga School gym.
Menahga students have an active role in the event, sharing poems, providing patriotic music and recognizing local veterans.
Under the direction of music teacher April Hodge, the Middle School High School Choir will perform a patriotic salute.
Seventh grader Clara Buchner will share her winning essay for the VFW's Patriot's Pen Essay Contest. The annual competition encourages sixth through eighth graders to examine America's history, along with their own experiences, and craft a 300- to 400-word essay. This year's theme was "The American I Believe In."
Annie Lake, winner of the VFW's Voice of Democracy Essay competition, is a ninth grader. She will share her speech. Open to freshman through seniors, contestants submit an audio essay about democratic ideas and principles. The 2016 theme was "My Responsibility to America."
The Menahga High School band will also perform, under the direction of music teacher Beth Hahn. They'll present "The Road Unknown: Portrait of a Soldier," composed by Richard Meyer. The piece is based upon "A March in the Ranks-Hard Prest," which is a Civil War poem written by Walt Whitman, explained Hahn. The piece is divided into four sections, beginning with a theme to represent a young soldier.
Lance Corporal Zachary Brosdahl, U.S. Marines and 2015 MHS graduate, will honor World War II veterans from the Menahga community.
The public is invited to attend the event.
The Veterans Day program is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in Tiger Arena. It is open to the public.
Paul Pfeiffer will give a keynote presentation about Civil War reenactments.
Geff Cooper, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, is also speaking at the Nevis School's veterans program.
Cooper was commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines during the invasion of Baghdad in March 2003. Cooper and his battalion of 1,100 Marines and Navy medical personnel made the 600-mile journey from Kuwait into Iraq. He is a member of the Star of the North Marine Corps League.
Adeline and Lydia Bjorklund will sing the national anthem. The high school choir will also perform.
Local veterans will be recognized for their service to the country.
Winners of a school-wide poster contest will also be revealed.