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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • CHS Student Authors: Remember our veterans, today and every day

  • Being that Veterans Day occurs in November, I felt the need to write about my utmost respect for these men and woman. I personally feel that these Veterans should not be celebrated only one day a year. While traveling to Girl’s State this summer and also to Washington, D.C., I developed a new respect for all Veterans and Troops.
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  •     Being that Veterans Day occurs in November, I felt the need to write about my utmost respect for these men and woman. I personally feel that these Veterans should not be celebrated only one day a year. While traveling to Girl’s State this summer and also to Washington, D.C., I developed a new respect for all Veterans and Troops.   
        While in the cities for Girl’s State this summer, I got the privilege to see Veteran’s services and a flag burning for the first time.  It was something I will never forget.  If you have never seen this ceremony before, I’d suggest making it a point to go see one.     
        These Veterans have nothing but honor and pride while they retire a flag.  To some people this flag may mean absolutely nothing.  It could be worn out, tore, and tattered, but to these men and women this flag is everything.     
        This flag is a symbol of what they fought for and saluted every single day while they learned lessons and worked harder than they ever thought they would.  I can’t imagine what these men and woman saw and have experienced, but when they stand there stiff as a board with their hand saluting this old beat up flag, you can see what it means to them.  They have an entire ceremony just to give the flag honor and make sure it doesn’t go without being respected.          They then fold it up, every fold having meaning, place it in a sacred burning ring, and watch as flames engulf this beautiful piece of cloth and travel up in smoke, to join their fellow friends and comrades up in heaven; the ones not fortunate enough to have made it out of battle alive.  It was something I will never forget.     
        After they had this flag ceremony, they had another honoring ceremony naming every soldier that had died in World War 2, who had lived in Minnesota.  With every name said there was a poppy laid on the memorial for them in their honor.          Each name had time to process in peoples minds and allow for a short prayer to be said about them and their families.  To this day I remember all these faces, solemn but so full of pride and joy.  I couldn’t be more honored and happy to have witnessed this for the first time.   
        I feel like no matter whom you are, where you’re from, or what kind of family you come from, everyone knows a troop or a veteran.  My cousin is one of those troops         I do not thank enough.  I remember when my aunt called and told my mom he was getting deported, and I had no idea what that truly meant. I remember us sending him Capris Suns’ and beef jerky, though. He said a lot of the other guys were pretty jealous.     
    Page 2 of 3 -     The day my mom told me we’d be going to his arrival home, I didn’t know what to think.  I was so excited, but I didn’t know what kind of experience it would be.  We, along with hundreds of friends and family, stood around waiting for the bus to arrive.  I remember looking around and seeing knees shaking and jittery people everywhere.      
        When the bus rounded the corner, tears began to fall.  I watched those uniformed troops walk off that bus and immediately search for those faces they’d held onto for God knows how long.  Then I saw my cousin, and my aunt immediately changed.  He walked over and hugged us all, and it was done.  He was home and the worry we’d felt was gone.  He was back home where he could do as he pleased and share stories of where he’d been and where he had traveled.   
        Besides my cousin, I’m also very fortunate to have grandpas who are veterans.  Although I never got to welcome them home or hear stories, I could not be more proud to be a granddaughter of them.  I know each and every day they look down on me, and I always say a prayer for them, especially on Veterans Day.  I know what they did helped our country stay safe and free.          Although he’s not a grandpa through blood, I still consider mister Bob Janorschke my grandpa, also. We are pen pals, and I love every story he tells me about his days in war.  I tell you this publically because I know that he will read this, and I know that he will clip it out, and write me a letter with this clipping in it. He does that with every newspaper clipping I’m in.     
        This means a lot to me because it shows me he cares.  I wish I had all the time in the world to sit down and talk with him about all his stories and adventures.     
        I feel the most interesting people have the most age behind those eyes and hearts.  They have been places and know more than I could ever imagine.  I owe him my utmost respect for leaving his friends and family to keep them safe and earn them freedom.   
        I hope while reading this, you all thought of someone, whether they are young, old, alive, or deceased.  No matter where they are now, I hope you thought of someone, because that means they are not gone but living through your thoughts and actions to this day.  Make sure to thank someone this Veterans Day.     
    Page 3 of 3 -     To Veterans everywhere…Thank you.  Thank you for your time sacrificed.  Thank you for being brave and extending your help to those who needed it.  You are the reason I am free to go to school each day and live in peace without fear.  I am so lucky and happy about that.  Thank you! I hope everyone has a wonderful Veterans Day!   
        Welter, a senior at Crookston High School, is a student in Toni Grove’s communications and broadcasting course.

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