Pequot Lakes middle level and high school students and staff, along with guests and veterans, attended a Veterans Day ceremony at the school Thursday, Nov. 8.
The ceremony included presentation of colors by the Pequot Lakes and Crosslake American Legions, Jenkins VFW and 1-94 Combined Arms Battalion, patriotic songs by music students and more.
Speakers included Capt. Joe Sanganoo, high school principal Chip Rankin and Pequot Lakes teacher Lucas Schmitz.
Sanganoo spoke of the importance of remembering veterans.
“Please, I beg of you, do not let the sacrifices of these fallen veterans go forgotten,” Sanganoo said.
He reminded students of the freedoms veterans secured for them, including that of education.
“(Going to school) may seem like a simple thing, but you have no idea how privileged you are,” he said.
He also reminded students to chase their dreams and to live up to the Patriot model the school sets.
“Veterans gave up their tomorrow so you can enjoy today,” Sanganoo said.
Schmitz told the story of his deployment, and how the vehicle he was in was hit by an IED. Schmitz lost his leg in the accident.
He said his service made him realize that “the heroes I grew up admiring were the people I served with,” Schmitz said.
“The most important thing we can do to honor members of service is simple: Remember. Names will fade, but actions will not,” he said.
Rankin reminded students of the importance of respecting the flag, their nation and their school. He said he hoped the speakers’ messages would have an impact on students.
Band students Peter Kostecka and Rachel Maschoff performed taps, and the Pequot Lakes American Legion Color Guard retired the colors.
Students also signed a large thank-you banner that will be sent to deployed troops. After the ceremony, students served veterans refreshments.