for service and dedication
A profound sense of patriotism filled the gymnasium of
North Platte High School on Monday afternoon at the sixth
annual salute to veterans program.
With Veterans Day marking the two month anniversary of
the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania,
the day honoring those in the armed forces who have fought
for our freedom and nation heightened Americans sense
of pride and love for the United States and patriotic
"I feel September 11 has brought on a renewed spirit
of patriotism and made us reflect on what veterans have
given for our country," said Ron Green, high school
principal and reservist and veteran of the Vietnam War.
Monday brought that renewed spirit with veterans, families,
community members and students from North and West Platte
School Districts to recognize the men and women of our
country who have fought and are fighting for our daily
Approximately 200 people from Platte County to Liberty
to Kansas attended this year's program. "It's the
largest crowd we've ever had. It's everything we hoped
it would work into," stated Green.
For the first time in the six years of the assembly,
North Platte High School was joined by the elementary
and intermediate students of North Platte and the junior
high and high school student body of West Platte.
Green explained that the significance of holding the
program is to not only remember the veterans but bring
awareness of our nations history and freedoms to the students.
"We don't ever want our students at North Platte
to forget the basic freedoms we have. It's important to
realize that those freedoms were paid for in some way,
whether with a portion of their life or with their whole
life," said Green.
This year's guest speaker was Col. Jon H. Moilanen, dean
of students and administration at the U.S. Army Command
and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
Moilanen shared with those in attendance personal connections
of family members who devoted a portion of their life
to serve the United States of America. With tears in his
eyes and a knot in this throat he reflected on his grandfather,
father, uncles and cousin, "who was a childhood idol",
as well as others, who gave just one piece of their life
to defend the freedoms we honor today.
"Lest we forget to be a part of American heritage.
Veterans, we value your selfish duty to our nation, veterans
we honor you and thank you," stated Moilanen.
Pictures of the ceremony can be found elsewhere in this
issue of The Landmark.