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WDC High School salutes veterans

Wadena-Deer Creek Schools Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom welcomes guests to the WDC Veterans Day Program in the high school gym.1 / 8
Amanda Starzl signs and sings the national anthem with those in attendance at the WDC Veterans Day Program.2 / 8
Marian and Bud Schmith say the pledge of allegiance during the Veterans Day Program at Wadena-Deer Creek High School.3 / 8
Jonathan Swisse reads his Voice of Democracy contest entry.4 / 8
Veterans of the Army, Oliver Putikka stood for the armed forces salute during the high school's Veterans Day Program Wednesday morning.5 / 8
Hanna Larson plays the piano during the armed forces salute. She is assisted by Mariah Wood.6 / 8
First Lieutenant Peter Rampaart gives the Veterans Day address at Wadena-Deer Creek High School Wednesday.7 / 8
Choir Director Mike Ortmann leads students in singing "God Bless the USA."8 / 8

In a moving tribute to all veterans, Wadena-Deer Creek Schools displayed great patriotism during their Veterans Day programs on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The high school program featured an impressive line-up of presenters, speakers and honorees. The program opened with the Presentation of Colors by the Wadena VFW, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Lexie Hoemberg, WDC Student Council co-president.

Directed by Michael Ortmann, the WDC High School choir sang a rendition of the National Anthem, as veterans, their families, students and staff held their hand over their heart while singing along.

WDC Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom welcomed all in attendance. She outlined the history of Veterans Day and its importance throughout history and today. She then introduced Wadena Legion Girls State representative Andrea Jensen and Wadena Legion Boys State representative Taylor Garcia. Both students spoke on their experiences at Girls State and Boys State this past summer, as well as thanked the local Legion Club for sponsoring them.

Next, the WDC Concert Choir performed "God Bless the USA," again under the direction of Ortmann.

Dahlstrom introduced Voice of Democracy Contest entrants Jonathan Swisse and Adrianna Buettner, who both spoke on what a hero means to them.

The WDC choir performed a tribute called "Armed Forces Salute," which was a montage of military-themed songs As each military song played, the respective veterans stood up, many singing along to the music.

The Veteran's Day Address was given by First Lt. Peter Rampaart, who spoke of the importance of remembering our veterans who have served, who've died for our country, and who are in active duty today. He said just 1 percent of our population actually serve and protect our country. He also asked that students pay their respects to veterans today by thanking them.

A special "Teacher of the Year" award was presented to music teacher Mike Ortmann by Wadena VFW representative Jim White. The award recognizes an educator who promotes citizenship in the classroom.

The program concluded with WDC band members playing "Taps." Lisa Weniger directs the band.