The Dupree Class of 2022 put on an outstanding Veterans Day program last week.
Led by English teacher, Mrs. Fordyce, the seniors created programming to honor veterans and showcase history, music, poetry, flag etiquette, and their Lakota knowledge and heritage.
The celebrated Wakinyan Maza drum group opened and closed the program. Dupree American Legion Post 124 Honor Guard posted the colors. The crowd listened while Charly Etzkorn sang the “Star Spangled Banner” followed by Tre White Wolf singing the “Lakota Flag Song” in Lakota. After the patriotic solos, Dupree Supt. Dr. Fodness and Mrs. Fordyce made introductory remarks welcoming everyone to the event and thanking the veterans for their service.
Student presentations began with McKadyn Chasing Hawk reading “The Flag.” After Tristan Little Wounded and Hannah Huber gave a reading about flag etiquette, Reese Lawrence and Caselyn LaPlante demonstrated proper flag folding for the audience based on the instructions in the reading. Then the entire PreK-6th grade student body joined together to sing “On Veterans Day.”
Student presentations continued with Angel Anderson explaining the South Dakota Bridge Program. Reese Lawrence read the poem “In Flanders Fields.” The Dupree High School, directed by Mr. Laughlin, sang “We Honor You.” Following the choir, Erin Lemke and Tristan Little Wounded explained the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
As Erin Lemke finished her reading, she proudly welcomed the guest speaker, John D. Lemke (her grandpa), to the podium. After Lemke closed his remarks, Mrs. Fordyce invited the winners of the local elementary poetry contest to come forward to share their poems; Kyler Hunt (5th grade), Daz Smith (5th grade), Leo Bakeberg, IV (6th grade), and Isaiah Pesicka (5th grade).
The event moved in a stronger Lakota direction toward the end. Three high school students, Kae Lynn Clown, Ashton Cloud Eagle, and Tamori Shaving, did impressive presentations – speaking first in Lakota and then again in English.
To close the afternoon, the Dupree High School Choir led the audience in “God Bless America.” Bryce In The Woods walked forward and asked for the microphone. In The Woods extemporaneously shared his appreciation for the event, speaking first in Lakota and later in English. He admitted he had tears in his eyes at time. In The Woods thought it was just great that the kids and community appreciated the soldiers and that they had spoken a great deal of Lakota.