Students thank their veterans
The line of young people extended halfway around the gymnasium at New Hampton High School Friday morning after a Veterans Day presentation.
Principal Sarah Updegraff had just told the students that they had about 15 minutes if they wanted to shake hands and thank the dozen or so veterans who had gathered.
Judging by the length of the line of students and teachers, most everyone wanted to.
The veterans were in uniform, representing every branch of the military, and most smiled as the young people met them and expressed gratitude for their service.
The morning started with a breakfast betweens students and veterans, and the ceremony followed. The New Hampton High School Band played patriotic tunes, and everyone stood for the national anthem and the presentation of colors.
Brian Quirk, a veteran and former state representative, spoke to the students on what it means to be an American Veteran. Quirk quoted President Ronald Reagan in his speech.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” he said. “We didn’t pass it to our children through the bloodstream. It was fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Three students, Hunter Carey, Shelby Schriever and Celana Quirk spoke in tribute to American Veterans who served in World War I, which was 100 years ago.
Updegraff talked to close the ceremony, and she recognized all teachers who served, or are currently serving. She then asked the students to stand if they were going into the service, or if a parent or sibling had served, or if a grandparent had served. Finally, she asked the students to stand if they had a friend who had served.
By the time she had finished, nearly every student was standing.
For more of this article, see Tuesday's New Hampton Tribune.