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Editorial: Help make Vets Day ceremony all it can be

We love the Veterans Day program put on each year at Farmington Middle School West. For going on 10 years now the students and staff have paid tribute to the men and women who have served their country in times of war.

Attend even one ceremony and it's clear both that the veterans appreciate the effort students make. It is equally clear students gain a new appreciation for the sacrifices others have made. Classroom visits by many of the veterans who attend help bring an insight that ordinary lessons cannot.

Over the past decade FMS West has paid tribute to veterans of every major conflict from World War II on. Two years ago the school dedicated a ceremony to women who served and last year students recognized local soldiers who served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

This year event organizers hope to recognize Farmington area residents who served time as prisoners of war or who were injured in combat and received a Purple Heart. And that's where they need your help. Because so far those residents are proving difficult to find.

As the story on the front of this week's Independent reports, with Veterans Day just over a month away staff at FMS West are looking for help tracking down former military men and women who deserve some recognition. Local residents are preferred, but nobody is less worthy of respect simply because they live beyond Farmington's borders.

Both groups are important. Both made a sacrifice in the service of their country. And both deserve recognition.

POWs have been in the news lately because of the Presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, himself a former POW. We know Farmington has had at least one Purple Heart winner, local Sons of the American Legion member Ken Hendrickson.

Like we said, we like this ceremony. We know how powerful it can be and we want each year's event to reach as many people as possible.

If you know someone who should be recognized this year at Farmington Middle School West you can call Peggy Curtis at 651-460-1511 or Jim Hoey, 651-460-1586.