Herald JournalHerald Journal, Nov. 17, 2003

Rough men standing ready

By Lynda Jensen

"People sleep peacably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." ­ George Orwell

This saying is a sample of the speech given by McLeod County Veteran Services Officer Gary Scheidt to several hundred Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School students Tuesday morning. The program was sponsored this year by the Winsted American Legion.

Scheidt reminded the students of the sacrifices made by veterans.

A veteran is someone defined as "an old soldier of long service and a former member of the armed forces," according to Webster's Dictionary, Scheidt said.

"A veteran is a person of peace, soft spoken, slow to anger, quick to realize that thos who talk most about hte glory of war are those who know about its horror. A veteran never jokes about war, he's been there and still sess on memoryu's vivd screen the wounded and dying, the widows and orphans. He knows first hand that no ware is good and the only thing worse than war is slavery," he said.

During the program, two flags were presented to the school, one each from the Howard Lake and Winsted American Legions.

A military casket flag was presented to High School Principal Mike Day by resident Jean Schmidt of Howard Lake. The flag was owned by WWII navy veteran John Ditmore, and will hang above the high school commons area.

Ditmore's sister, Margaret Barth of Howard Lake, gave the flag to Schmidt, asking her to find a proper place for it.

Winsted Legion Commander Dick Genty presented a flag to Elementary Principal Julie Millerbernd for the school's use.

Millerbernd has had seven brothers in the military.

In addition, Day noted that the Howard Lake Legion donated 34 flags for classrooms, since the school recently decided to say the Pledge of Allegiance once per week.

They realized belatedly that they didn't have enough flags to say with the pledge, and this donation will accommodate this, he said.

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