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Ricketts, Bacon, schools & others organizations hold Veterans Day events

Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 19:51:20-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Thursday is Veterans Day and a number of area organizations, schools and politicians did their part to honor active and former service members.

In Springfield, students at Platteview High School paid special recognition to Daegan Page and his family.

In August, Page and 12 other service members were killed while protecting the airport near Kabul, Afghanistan during an evacuation.

"Students this year went and put flags on the field and lined Platteview Road and 108th Street with the flags and it's just a great way to show them the respect. People drive by and call the school district and say, ‘Hey, great show of patriotism by students, that isn't seen a lot,’” said Physical Education Teacher Scott Jenson.

School officials say the Veterans Day tribute carried out by students has gotten bigger each year since it started two decades ago.

At a local Hy-Vee, which was providing free breakfast for veterans as well as a discount for the day, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts was on-hand.

“It’s an honor to be able to serve our veterans,” said Ricketts. “They’ve done so much for our country to protect our freedoms and it’s great that Hy-Vee is showing a way to give back. They’ve been doing this for years, serving breakfast to veterans on Veterans Day. It’s just a privilege to be able to be here.”

Through Sunday, shoppers can round up their bill to help support veterans.

At Hillside Elementary, which is part of Westside Community Schools, a veterans assembly was held.

Activities there included a sergeant major speaking, singing and letters read in honor of the day.

Lucy Edwards’ dad served in the military for a decade and was one of the speakers.

“Explaining what it’s about and why it’s a holiday, and what is a veteran and what makes a veteran,” she said, explaining what the day means to her.

“She knows firsthand what that means, what it costs and what it’s like,” said Hillside Elementary Principal Cynthia Bailey.

Bailey says it’s significant for children to know about what veterans and military members sacrifice.

At Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, current and former service members were allowed entry free of charge as well as their family members.

Zoo staff said they’re grateful to provide this to say thank you to the veterans.

"As a community icon, it's important for us to play our role in honoring our veterans and the services that they provided to our country,” said Director of Human Resources, Safety and Security Craig E. Jacobs. “I'm a veteran myself, I spent 26 years in the United States Air Force and it gives me a great deal of pride to be able to share that with the members of our community as a member of the zoo staff as well."

An area business we brought you a story on last night offered veterans a free way to relieve stress. True Rest Float Spa offered free floats to veterans.

The spa was actually founded after the owner heard about a navy seal who was using flotation therapy to treat PTSD and pain issues.

On the 11th of every month, active military and veterans can float for free said one employee.

The spa is located at Lakeside Plaza. Appointments are required.

The Sienna Francis House also held a Veterans Day celebration at the organizations’ outdoor flagpole in honor of homeless veterans. Congressman Don Bacon, who is a veteran, attended and spoke at the event.

Veterans at the service were provided a backpack filled with personal care items and after the ceremony, dinner was served.

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