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Plans are in the works to pay tribute to veterans

It was a small group of nine people that met Monday afternoon in the North Trail Elementary School media center. A small group that hopes to accomplish a huge task.

The group included a couple of School District 192 representatives, a few members of the Farmington Lions Club and representatives from the Farmington VFW, American Legion and Warrior to Citizen.

The meeting was the first of maybe half a dozen that will be spread out between now and Nov. 4. Its purpose was to begin planning a community-wide Patriotic Day celebration - an event to recognize both current military and veterans in the Farmington community.

Led by NTES principal Dr. Steven Geis, the meeting was a bit of a brainstorming session. It was a time for everyone there to talk about what they would like the event to become.

The event is scheduled one week before Veterans Day. It won't necessarily take on the same form as the Veterans Day programs that used to be held at Farmington Middle School West, but there is a proposal for a dinner followed by a program by students.

There was talk of building up the idea of patriotism in the school buildings beginning next fall, even with something as simple as elementary school students making paper corsages or thank you cards in their art classes. Maybe having VFW or Legion members teach flag etiquette. Or asking the middle and high school choirs and bands to prepare selections for the night. All ideas were tossed out for consideration.

"It's very fluid," Geis said. "It's all something that's up for discussion."

Regardless, at one point or another, soldiers and veterans will be asked to visit classrooms and talk to students about their experiences fighting for freedom.

The Veterans Day program that was held at FMS West was the result of a cooperative effort between Geis and a few members of the VFW. The assembly program, which had been done for the better part of a decade, was not held this year because Farmington now has two middle schools.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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