Students join with community to honor veterans

Marlys Barker with information provided by Chris Lloyd
Students join with community to honor veterans

Around 60 people from the community, including 20 veterans, joined the Nevada High School student body at the Josephine Tope Community Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 10, to observe Veterans Day one day early.

A key component of the ceremony was the presentation of Quilts of Valor to five local veterans — Louis Koeneke, Lloyd Kline, Ray Lounsberry, Francis Miller and Jim Klein. Klein was the only one of the five who was not available that day to receive his quilt, but the other four were in attendance, and each was called to the stage as a short biography for each was read. Then, each man was presented their quilt by members of the Nevada American Legion Auxiliary Unit 48, who had made them.

Senior Madison Merfeld, a Girls State representative, read a short description of the mission of the Quilts of Valor, along with the biographies. At the end of each presentation, Merfeld said, “May you find comfort when wrapped in your Quilt of Valor.”

Other students who took part in the program included Erik Fevold, Clayton Sullivan and Cooper Dood, Boys State citizens.

Along with the quilt presentations, other memorable moments during the program included: the audience singing the National Anthem and saying the Pledge of Allegiance, poems read by students, a short video and musical tribute to the veterans, a choir performance of “America the Beautiful” and the recognition of all veterans who were in attendance.

“I am so glad that our staff and students all took time to remember the sacrifices our veterans have made for us to enjoy the freedoms that we often take for granted,” said High School Principal Justin Gross. “I would like to thank our students and community members for making the program successful. I am thankful to live in a community that makes programs like this possible.”

Student James Carsrud, a freshman, said he thinks veterans should be honored for their service. “I think that by having this event every year at Nevada High School shows students that you need to treat your veterans with respect. This event also gives me a chance to remember my cousin, Matthew Rierson (a graduate of Nevada High School), who was killed in Somalia 22 years ago.”