PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Pierre’s Riggs High School will be hosting a Veterans Day celebration this morning in the school’s theater-starting at 10:45 a.m. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Day National Committee have recognized the school ceremony as a regional site for noting Veterans Day in the region that is made up of South and North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa. Riggs teacher Jay Mickelson is organizing this morning’s event, which will be attended by Veterans and students, both. Mickelson says being noted as a regional site among other events in the upper Midwest is a big deal.
Mickelson says several months of planning have gone into getting ready for today and for each year’s ceremony.
In the past few years,Pierre has held school on Veterans Day so that students can attend the annual ceremony. Mickelson says he tells students of the importance of honoring those who have served our country.
Today’s ceremony will include music by the Capital City Band, an appearance by Governor Dennis Daugaard and the main speaker will be Nick Johnson-a former Riggs student who has served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mickelson also says several current Riggs students will be involved in the program; young Marines and the Civil Air Patrol will help the VFW with the posting of the flag ceremony; special music and a video tribute are planned for 35 South Dakotans who have died in recent wars; there will be a Lakota Honoring Song; echo Taps will be played and Prisoners of War and those who are Missing in Action will be remembered through the Ceremony of the White Table. Mickelson says the ceremony will end with a presentation called “America-the Dream Goes On”. River Cities Public Transit will maintain a shuttle between the VFW and Legion parking lots and Riggs Theater. Public and handicapped parking will be available at the Riggs southwest parking lot with shuttle service to the door. Veterans are being asked to sit in the center section of the theater and students will be seated around them. The ceremony is expected to last from an hour to an hour and a half.
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