Veterans Day service serves to remind What Makes America Great
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports/Nature Editor
One by one they stood as the name of the military branch they served with was called. Veterans from the Army, Marines, Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force all stood saluting the American flag as the Tomahawk High School choir sang each of their military songs.
The touching salute to honor our veterans is performed every year as the Tomahawk Middle School hosts a Veterans Day ceremony every Nov. 11. And this year was no exception, as veterans and community members alike were entertained by patriotic performances by the Tomahawk High School band and choir as well as a performance by the Tomahawk Middle School and St. Mary’s fifth grade choirs.
Sponsored by the Veterans Day Program Planning Committee, the ceremony featured a check presentation by the Tomahawk Middle School Student Council to the Tomahawk VFW Post 2687. Through a penny war held at the school, students and staff managed to raise $500 that will pay to have a veteran flown to Washington D.C. to view the statutes built in their honor through the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.
In accepting the donation on behalf of the VFW, Bill Burcalow shared how the Tomahawk community has been one of the top fundraising communities for the Honor Flight, noting over $80,000 has been donated to fly veterans to see the monuments built in their honor.
Following the singing by the high school choir of “In Flanders Fields,” Hatchet senior Gunnar Millard provided the Veterans Day remarks as he shared how he plans to carry on a longstanding family tradition of serving in the military. He shared how his forefathers had fought in World War II and Vietnam to Iraq and how he was excited to follow in their footsteps. Millard will be graduating early on Jan. 27 so he can travel to Fort Benning in Georgia where he begins basic training in February. He plans to become an Airborne Ranger in the Army.
Millard called it his “moral duty” to serve and urged his fellow students to consider serving their country in the future.
Tiegen Sasazin won the fifth grade Veterans Day essay writing contest that was titled “What Makes America Great.” The second place essay went to Shelby Borowsk and Drew Voermans took third in the fifth grade contest.
In reading his essay, Tiegen urged his fellow classmates to not be afraid to go up to a veteran and tell them thank you for your service.
Maya Daigle also read her seventh grade winning essay. The next two spots went to seventh graders Mya Pankow and Laren Hansmann.
Even the end of the Veterans Day ceremony served as a reminder of What Makes America Great. Baskets were put out requesting donations to the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation.
The Veterans Day Program Planning Committee was thanked for their efforts to once again host the event. Students went back to class with a greater appreciation of country and those who served and continue to serve defending freedoms and the veterans headed over to Incredible Bank where some food and refreshments were provided to thank them for their service.