After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Saint Peter High School will once again host its Veterans Day program at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the SPHS gym. Local veterans are encouraged to attend this year’s event and it is also open to the general public. A special reception for area veterans, with coffee and donuts, will be held starting at 9 a.m. that day in the SPHS Community Room (next to commons area).
This event is put on each year by the SPHS social studies department. The St. Peter American Legion Post #37 Color Guard will participate in the ceremony while the SPHS Concert Choir and Concert Bands will also take part by performing patriotic music.
This year’s guest speaker is Jim Bixby LtCol (retired), Minnesota Air National Guard. Bixby, who resides in St. Peter, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force through ROTC in December 1989.
“It is an honor to be asked to speak (at the Veterans Day program),” Bixby said. “I really appreciate that the school is recognizing Veterans Day with the students.”
He served on active duty as a tactical airlift pilot through 1999 flying C-27 and C-130 aircraft. After separating from active duty, he continued his military service as a C130 pilot for the MN Air National Guard and simultaneously began a civilian flying career with Northwest Airlines. Lieutenant Colonel Bixby retired from the Minnesota Air National Guard in July 2011 after 21 years of service and is currently employed at Delta Air Lines.
During his military career he participated in operations throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. This included numerous deployments in direct support of conflicts in Bosnia Herzegovina, Albania, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Other Veterans Day activites at SPPS
The other three buildings for Saint Peter Public Schools will not have any public events, but Saint Peter Middle School, North Elementary, and South Elementary will have activities with a Veterans Day theme.
South Elementary will have Veterans Day discussions in the classrooms and families were encouraged to write “Thank You” notes to veterans, while North Elementary will have its Veterans’ Day Picture Wall. Saint Peter Middle School will have Veterans Day lessons during advisory time and in social studies classes.