WAYNE – Over 220 individual schools and school districts from across the state of Nebraska have received special certificates from Secretary of State John Gale for their efforts in honoring military veterans.
Participating schools included, preschool, elementary, middle and high school students of the public and nonpublic schools.
In addition to performances by school groups, the variety of programs included breakfasts and luncheons for veterans and their families, special displays featuring photos of veterans, flag retirement ceremonies and the presentation of quilts to military members or relatives.
John Gale got the idea to honor schools back in 2008, when he attended a middle school in Grand Island.
In addition to veterans and military members, notable speakers at schools this year included: U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, Lt. Governor Mike Foley, U.S Representative Jeff Fortenberry, U.S Representative Adrian Smith and Adjutant General Daryl Bohac of the Nebraska National Guard.
Some of the unique activities that schools reported to Sec. Gale included:
- A soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan and presented Central Elementary School in McCook with a flag that he carried aboard the Blackhawk helicopter on which he served.
- Students at Brownell Talbot who held a mock draft as part of a lesson on soldiers who served in Vietnam.
- A former graduate of Pender High School who told students about his role as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
- A video featuring 8th graders at Ainsworth Schools who had adopted local veterans and did special projects for them throughout the year.
List of Participating Area Schools
- Cedar County: Laurel-Concord-Coleridge Schools
- Cuming County: Bancroft-Rosalie Community School, Wisner-Pilger Public Schools
- Dakota County: Covington Elementary, Homer Community School, South Sioux City Middle School
- Dixon County: Allen Consolidated Schools, Ponca Public Schools, Wakefield Community School
- Knox County: Bloomfield Community Schools, Niobrara Public School, Verdigre Public Schools
- Madison County: Battle Creek Public Schools, Newman Grove Schools, Norfolk High School, Norfolk Jr. High School
- Pierce County: Osmond Community Schools, Plainview Public Schools
- Stanton County: Stanton Community School
- Thurston County: Pender Public Schools, Winnebago Public School
- Wayne County: Wayne Community Schools