Post 334 Commander Hank Thieman welcomed all to the program by thanking them for coming to honor all veterans. Advancement of the colors was by Legion members and Boy Scouts. The National Anthem was sung by Scott and Stephanie Wright.
Invocation was by Post Chaplain Don Friese. He asked everyone to be mindful of those who fought for our freedom.
Post 334 Auxiliary led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance
Girls State 2017 representative Maggie Cleveland, daughter of Pat and Hannah Cleveland, shared some of her experiences.
She said, “I enjoyed my time at Girls State. Its hard to put into words how great it was. There were 399 girls. I learned to talk to strangers and some of us are still close friends.”
She visited the capitol and got to speak to the girls state council.
It’s an experience she won’t forget soon.
She learned that if a flag touches the ground, you do not need to burn it.
She expects to attend Concordia College majoring in either biology or exercise science.
Boys State representative Walker Stuhr, son of Clyde and Connie Stuhr, stated, “I thoroughly enjoyed it and I now better understand the governmental process.
We ate, slept, everything like a big family. Most of us were just guys who loved sports from a variety of backgrounds.”
He did recall that one boy always seem to ask the convoluted questions. He still talks to him.
Walker’s position at Boys State was on the daily newspaper. He said, “I can’t stress enough how great the experience was.”
Keynote speaker was Alexa Nelson, daughter of Dennis and Donna Nelson of Albion, and graduate of Boone Central. She is a member of the National Guard 128th Engineering Division.
She spoke on her appreciation of our countries’ symbol and what the flag stands for.
She reflected on her cousin’s funeral and felt she was destined to participate in the military.
She said, “I arrived at the processing station at 6 a.m. and we were herded like cattle. We were confused and intimidated and completed four hours of grueling tests. One navy officer noticed a boy leaning against the wall and admonished him saying, “My wall can stand all by its self. Out there, there’s no wall to lean against.””
They were escorted to a room where all were asked, “Are you sure of your choice?” That’s a little hard because you don’t know what the next eight years will bring. She fought back the negative thoughts with positive ones. She recalled raising her right hand having earthquake shaking and her heart trying to escape its prison cell. It seemed as though she couldn’t hear anything.
Finally, I am an American soldier with new responsibilities. There are greater things than high school.
Read the complete story in the May 30 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.