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Morris Area honors veterans with program

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Ms. Dalen's first grade class led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance. 3 / 15
Morris Area High School Choir led by Mr. K. 4 / 15
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Lucy Deane read a poem on what it means to be a veteran. 8 / 15
Featured student speaker Alec Gausman9 / 15
Featured student speaker Kaitlin Asmus10 / 15
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Keynote speaker Dick Felstul13 / 15
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MORRIS -- On Monday, Nov. 11, students at the Morris Area Schools hosted a Veterans Day program. Three students presented essays in honor of the event. 

Alec Gausman

Winston Churchill said, “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

It was World War II. In that era many soldiers did not volunteer, or choose to be in the military. Instead, many people were drafted or required to go to the war and serve their country. My grandfather was one who got drafted, and went to Germany to serve. He served on the frontline. He was an ammunition carrier. What that means is that he carried 50 caliber rounds for the gunmen on the frontline. Grandpa was just a typical farm boy from Tracy, Minnesota. He would receive a pin for serving on the frontline and earned $50 extra each month for earning that pin.

Can you imagine only getting paid $50 more a month for being put even closer to the enemy soldiers? My grandfather told me stories of them digging foxholes to sleep in at night, and sometimes even hearing the German soldiers walk right over the top of them. He often says, “I rarely ever knew where I was, all I knew was that I was where I didn’t want to be.” One of the many memories he recalls is as they were marching into a town and he noticed that there were German soldiers perched in the trees. He also noticed how young the German soldiers were then compared to now. He said that none of the kids shooting at them could have been any older than I am. I am 16. Can you imagine at that age or younger being asked by your country to fight and possibly die? I am very proud of my grandfather for serving our country.

Recently my brother-in-law returned home from serving in Afghanistan. While he was at war, I was constantly reminded of him, and the agony put in others’ lives solely by him being deployed and having his life at risk every day. Many times I would help my sister bake for him, and send packages for him and his fellow soldiers to enjoy. Another constant reminder were the few random calls my sister received from her husband and how she enjoyed just being able to talk to him for the short amount of time he was allowed.

I believe that if it weren’t for people like my grandfather, my brother-in-law, and all of you veterans I may not be standing here today. In conclusion, I would like to thank each veteran here for what you did.

Kaitlyn Asmus: A Family's Sacrifice

"People have forgotten. They have no idea what it was like," states Delroy Asmus, World War 2 Veteran and my Great Grandpa.

He never talks about it. By "it" I mean war. Is that a silent, unwritten, rule of some older Veterans?

Is it too painful to remember? Or do most Veterans think we have forgotten them?

The reason we celebrate Veterans Day is to never forget. It is to honor people, like my Great Grandpa, who think we have forgotten.

Delroy was in the Army. He served for two years in World War 2, from 1944 to 1946. He was overseas in Japan during the war. He left behind his young pregnant wife, Loretta, my Great Grandma.

While Delroy was away serving our country, Loretta had to do all of the work on the farm. Loretta had to milk the cows and take care of the baby all by herself.

In those days there were no phone calls, no web cams, and no video chats. They could only send each other letters. Loretta always wondered if her letters would even get to Delroy.

Delroy did not even see his daughter, Judy, until she was 18 months old. When he was finally met his daughter, she was scared of him. How heartbreaking that must have been!

They all sacrificed. Delroy, Loretta, and even their daughter, Judy. Webster's Dictionary defines sacrifice as, "A surrender of something for the sake of something else. Or something given up or lost."

This is what Veterans do. They give up their time, their jobs, and their family life, for our country and for our freedom.

Veterans lose precious time with their families, like the two years Delroy missed with his wife and daughter.

This sacrifice should be remembered.

This sacrifice should be honored.

The definition of honor is, "To regard with great respect." On Veterans Day, we honor all Americans, both men and women, who have served in the Armed Forces.

Part of honoring and never forgetting is learning. I have learned about the history of a veteran, my Great Grandpa, Delroy Asmus.

I have also learned about the history of the Veterans Day Holiday. Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11th.

It was originally called Armistice Day, since the Armistice Agreement, ending World War 1, was signed on November 11th, 1918.

Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, is also celebrated in other countries, who were involved in World War 1.

On Veterans Day, we honor Veterans.

We remember.

We give respect for the sacrifices of all Veterans and their families.

As Americans, we never want to hear a Veteran say, "People have forgotten."

Let us never forget.

Lucy Deane: We Honor Veterans

Awake, arise!

The heavy burden lightened off your shoulders,

You may rest now.

Your duty is done

Thy listening be bathed honor.

Don’t remember the horror, nor the fear.

Alas, these brave souls!

Who lose or keep their lives,

But at what cost?

Freedom, safety, economic stabilization.

No more nightmares,

From darkness comes light,

Remember how you served,

Gallant, patriotic, stars on a striped emblem,

Try, Try, Try!

Try to remember what is wished to be remembered

Thy courage, Thy sacrifice,

Departing wives and husbands,

Children and friends,

The mind grows into a drape of fatigue,

Eyes bore with dreadful images,

Yet your legacy is the definition of inspiration.

I promise I will never forget your great deed,

Never yet ‘till the day I pass.

In you, we solemnly trust.