Blaine High School hosted a Veterans Day tribute Thursday, Nov. 11, in the high school’s Fieldhouse gym, that honored generations of service members.

The event was organized by high school staff member Steve Guider. KSTP-TV chief political reporter Tom Hauser served as emcee.

The family of Blaine High School graduate Andy Chaisson (Class of 2009), who recently died of cancer due to exposure during his military service, delivered the flag at the start of the ceremony.

U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Mike Mills (medically retired) was the keynote speaker and provided a detailed description of his encounter with an improvised explosive device (IED) blast that caused devastating injuries while he was serving in Tikrit, Iraq, June 14, 2005.

U.S. Navy veteran Stan Nelson, 101, and World War II codebreaker Lois Widmark, 99, lowered the American flag at the end of the ceremony. Nelson took part in the D-Day invasion and served 1943-1946 as a lieutenant junior grade communication and deck officer. Widmark served as a codebreaker against the Japanese for the U.S. Naval Reserve Women’s Reserve (WAVES) as a specialist Q 1st class.

Blaine High School bands, orchestra and choir members were featured in an event witnessed by an overflow crowd in the school Fieldhouse and auditorium.

The Veterans Day tribute included a moving Battlefield Cross ceremony, which concluded with a series of rifle volleys from outside the high school by members of the Sgt. John Rice VFW Post 6316.


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