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Local schools get ready for Veterans Day

Meyer Middle School holds a special Veterans’ Day program every years. This year’s program will be Monday at 1 p.m. Shown is a previous MMS Veteran’s Day program.

With Veteran’s Day Monday, Meyer Middle School is preparing for its big annual program that calls attention to the holiday and what it means.

Principal Mark Chapin said this is the middle school’s fifth year putting on the program, which is open to community and area residents and starts at 1 p.m., with doors opening at 12:30 p.m.

“Every year it’s getting bigger,” Chapin said, “I think the word’s getting out.

“For us it’s a meaningful way to get the veterans here, and to say thank you and for our student body to give them an opportunity to say thank you as well.”

Middle school students are part of the ceremony, with a speaker selected from each class and performances by the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade choir and the eighth grade band.

Their songs will include the Star Spangled Banner and the Armed Forces: The Pride of America. During the latter, Chapin said veterans are invited to stand and be recognized.

“It’s our way of saying thank you to our veterans,” Chapin said. “Even though it’s only once a year, that’s why we do it, to remember those who are serving and those who have served and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.”

In addition to student speakers, the event will also feature keynote speaker Lt. Col. Tim Lawrence. Lawrence, a T-38 Instructor Pilot at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., is retiring from the military and moving to River Falls.

Chapin said the MMS social studies and music departments and student council contribute greatly to the program.

The American Legion Honor Guard will also be present at the program, to post the colors, and be honored with the other veterans.

However, as the program is indoors, the Honor Guard will not give the 21-gun salute it performs at other Veteran’s Day ceremonies around town.

The Honor Guard will also visit the other schools of the River Falls School District.

At each school but MMS, the Honor Guard will raise the flag and give a 21 gun salute. The schools and the times of the visits are listed below:

--7:45 a.m., River Falls High School

--9 a.m. Greenwood Cemetery — Greenwood Elementary will participate

--9:25 a.m. St. Bridget Parish School

--9:50 a.m. The Academy Building

--10:15 a.m. Westside

--10:40 a.m. Rocky Branch

--11 a.m. UW-River Falls North Hall

The Honor Guard also visits the Lutheran Home campus with gift baskets for elderly veterans who live there.

For more information, contact the Legion at 715-425-7362 or the school district at 715-425-1800.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048