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Community members, Cook County District 166 staff, and students recognize Veterans during the 2023 Veterans Day Program

Nov 13, 2023 10:10AM ● By Content Editor
All photos by Laura Durenberger-Grunow

By Laura Durenberger-Grunow - Boreal Community Media - Nov 13, 2023

On Friday, November 10, Cook County community members, school district staff, and students recognized local Veterans during the annual Veterans Day Program at ISD 166. 

The program began with the Posting of the Colors by Color Guard members Bob Mattson - Commander, Air Force, Wayne Johnson - Navy, Rodney Carlson - Navy, Sue Westerlind - Marines, and Gordon Salisbury - Air Force. 



The Cook County High School Band (joined by some community band members), Middle School and High School choirs, and 2nd and 3rd grade classes from Sawtooth Elementary teamed up throughout the event to perform The Star-Spangled Banner and Armed Forces - The Pride of America! 


The Choir and Sawtooth Students performed Proud of Our Veterans, while the band played Stars and Stripes Forever, March of the Magnificents, and band member Brayden Schmidt played Taps. 

School District Superintendent Chris Lindholm led the Pledge of Alligance. 

Former Cook County High School graduate, Army Veteran, and current member of the Cook County Sheriff's Department Ty Backlund was the keynote speaker. Backlund talked about the nuanced emotions he deals with on Veteran's Day, and made a call for people to come together. 

"The Army brings people from all walks of life: race, class, location. But we have to work together as a team and set aside our differences," he told the audience. 

Backlund shared the importance of taking care of each other as a community, resisting divide (especially political), and coming together to improve our town, state, and country. 

The event also included a recognition of our Veterans, with ISD 166 students holding a flag representing each branch of the US Military (the song Armed Forces was performed during this time, also recognizing each Military branch). As each branch was recognized, Veterans were encouraged to stand. 


If you missed the event or would like to watch it again, you can do so via the school recording here;



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