WAYNE – Nearly 1,000 students at Wayne Community Schools joined teachers, staff and community members Thursday morning during the 2021 Veterans Day Program.
From the Jr/Sr High gym, Troop 174 presented the colors followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem performed by the Wayne High Jazz Choir.
Dr. Mark Lenihan, Superintendent of Wayne Community Schools, welcomed everyone who attended and honored all of the service members both living and past.
This year’s speaker was Corporal Sandra Hansen who enlisted in the Nebraska National Guard in the summer of 1999.
Hanson said it was great to have everybody together again.
“Last year they did it via zoom and over Facebook so a lot of the Veterans might not have got to see it,” said Hansen. “Just being back together again and be able to honor them in person is a great thing.”
Following boot camp she transferred to the South Dakota National Guard in 2000 before being honorably discharged in 2001 to leave for Marine Corps Recruit Training. Corporal Hansen then re-enlisted in 2003 to become a recruiter. Upon being honorably discharged in 2009 she returned to Wayne and completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Public Science with a minor in Emergency Management at Wayne State College in 2010.
Hansen also joined a group earlier this year to walk the six-mile portion in northeast Nebraska of Highway 20.
In January of 2020, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed the paperwork renaming the 432-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 20 running through the state as the “Nebraska Medal of Honor Highway”.
Hansen would like to leave you with a Veterans Day message.
“Just give a little bit of yourselves at least once a year on Veterans Day,” Hansen added. “They gave up a lot for our freedom and to get us and our country where we are today, so the least we can do is give back a little bit to them.”
Wayne High students Courtney Brink and Carter Hasemann also spoke prior to the Quilt Shop in Wakefield who presented 9 (corrected from audio) individuals, either active or veteran service member, a Quilts of Valor quilt.
The Wayne High band performed ‘Marches of the Armed Forces’ followed by Taps and the retiring of the colors by Troop 174.