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HPS Honors Veterans

HPS Honors Veterans

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The Hemingford School Gymnasium was packed on Thursday, November 11 for the Hemingford Public Schools Veterans Day Program. As guests and students entered the gym, they were greeted by the American Legion Riders who stood holding flags.

Hemingford Student Council Vice President, Ethan Specht welcomed the crowd.

“Today we will spend some time recalling different aspects of what makes Veterans Day important,” said Specht. “We have all ages attending today’s program and some of them might not be familiar with what Veterans Day is about. First please stand for the presentation of the Colors and the playing of the National Anthem.”

American Legion Post 9 members Brett Sorensen, Troy Sorensen, Mike Raben and Pat McMahon presented the American Flag and the Nebraska State Flag just before the Star Spangled Banner was performed by the Hemingford 7th – 12th grade band.

Post 9 Chaplain Troy Sorensen, an Army sergeant and Veteran of the Iraq war, delivered the invocation and prayer before passing the program back to the Student Council.

“How many of you know a Veteran?” asked Sorensen. “How many of you love somebody who is a Veteran? How many of you have taken the time to ask a Veteran their story?”

He noted that not as many hands were raised for the third question but that was “pretty good.”

“I want to challenge you, no matter how old you are or who you are, to ask a Veteran their story,” Sorensen said. “Learn it and listen to it. We spend a lot of time on our phones doing this and that but there’s a wealth of knowledge and information and just good things that we as American citizens can learn if you take the time to ask ‘What’s your story?’”

“If you see a guy with a Vietnam Vet hat on ask him, ‘Hey when you’ve got time can I buy you a cup of coffee and sit down with you and I can hear your story.’”

“Even in this room here you’ll learn stories from someone that was out on the Pacific Ocean and saw water as far as the eye could see, you’ll learn about the beaches of Coronado or Fort Jackson, the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan, you name it,” said Sorensen. “I want to challenge everyone to take the time and ask those Veterans in your lives their stories. It’s our responsibility as Americans to learn those stories and know those stories and continue on with the legacy that the US Military holds and the freedoms that our military has fought for and continues to fight for.”

Hemingford Student Council members Destiny Hanson, President and Liz Mayer, Secretary delivered an explanation of a Veteran.

A song called Red, White and Blue was performed by the kindergarten – 6th grade students and displayed on the screen for all to sing along.

Student Council Treasurer Alysen Turek announced a present a Quilt of Valor and welcomed Quilt of Valor representative and American Legion Auxiliary Member Natasha Schumacher to a 94-year-old local Veteran named Bill Stewart. Stewart could not be in attendance but was presented with his quilt at the Hemingford Community Care Center.

“This group, that I have with me today are part of the group called American Legion Auxiliary and SAL'S Youth,” said Schumacher. “They have been getting together for the past three or four years now to work on a quilt to specifically be presented at the Veterans Day program at the school.”

Turek asked that all Veterans please stand to be thanked for their service. As they were standing the 7th – 12th grade choir performed a song called “We Honor You” with soloists Destiny Hanson, Rylie Wright and Mileigh Krebs.

Next HPS Senior Julie Johnson honored Veteran Les Anderson and Liz Mayer honored Veteran Paul Raben.

The Armed Forces Salute was performed by the Hemingford 9th – 12th grade band before the Colors were retired by the American Legion 9 members. 

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