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Lowell American Legion Veterans Day Banquet

American Legion Veterans Day Banquet

The Lowell American Legion Clark-Ellis Post #152 had their annual Veterans Day banquet on Sunday, Nov. 11. About 75 veterans, their friends and family members enjoyed a dinner catered by Honey Creek Inn in Cannonsburg, it included roast beef, turkey, dressing, green bean casserole and more.

“The American Legion has done this dinner for probably 35 years, maybe longer,” said American Legion member David Thompson. “The host is the American Legion. We invite veterans and their significant others to come in for kind of an early Thanksgiving dinner. There's no charge, it's something we provide every year. It's always an excellent, fun day. The fellowship is wonderful.”

Four Lowell High School students - Gwendolyn Hackett, Evangeline Hoke, John Russell and Karsten Kirkendall – who attended Boys State and Girls State over the summer spoke about their experiences. Boys State and Girls State are the American Legion's youth leadership programs. Students who attend the program spend a week living in the dorms at a college campus (MSU for the young women, GVSU for the young men) learning hands-on about how a legislature works. Notable past alumni of the program include Neil Armstrong, Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Jane Pauley and Bruce Springsteen.

“It was a life-changing experience for me,” Russell said. “It taught me how to lead others, not only in our community but the state.”

“It made me realize that for the last 250 years the United States has been able to survive through the politics and through the gridlock,” Kirkendall said.

“I learned so much and I met a lot of people,” Hoke said. “That really influenced my decision to enlist in the US Navy, which I did a couple weeks ago. I also learned a lot about our local and state governments.”

“They taught me how sacred it is to defend and respect our flag,” Hackett said. “They taught me to be a leader, but most importantly they taught me never to underestimate myself.”

“This program is so great; it teaches these young kids lots of young life experiences,” said American Legion member Vikisu Condon.

“They're from Lowell High School and they're exceptional students,” Thompson said. “It's always fun to hear what they remember most about it.”

The Lowell Ledger was honored to receive an award from the American Legion at the banquet, “for excellent coverage of veterans' issues and for the story of the dedication of the astronaut Roger B. Chaffee statue.”

 

CUTLINES

Four LHS students, Gwendolyn Hackett, Evangeline Hoke, John Russell and Karsten Kirkendall, reported on their experiences last summer at Boys State and Girls State.

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