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Remembering Our Fallen

David City High School recently was host to Remembering Our Fallen, a memorial gallery that displays the military and personal photos of Nebraskans killed in combat since 9/11. The traveling exhibit’s visit to the school was made possible by social studies teacher Lisa Bales.

For Veterans Day, Lisa Bales wanted to do something special for her students.

The teacher’s eighth-grade class at David City Public Schools puts on a Veterans Day program every year. In 2017, Bales came across Remembering Our Fallen, a memorial gallery that displays the military and personal photos of Nebraskans killed in combat since 9/11.

Although she missed the deadline to get the exhibit last year, Bales was able to book it for 2018’s Veterans Day. The galley was on display at the David City High School commons area from Nov. 12-16, with it being open to the public on Nov. 15.

The galley features photos, artwork, personal notes and other items from about 100 different Nebraskans killed as a result of The War on Terror. Bales said the exhibit has helped her students better relate to the stories and experiences of veterans.

“Sometimes I think their idea of a veteran is World War I, World War II, and they think of these older people, these faded photos, and it doesn't seem real to them,” Biles said. “But I think seeing these young people, just like in photos that they would take today, I think makes it more real to them.”

Students from the school, along with others from Bellwood and David City elementary schools got to visit Remembering Our Fallen. For the community open house, Bales had several of her eighth-grade students volunteer as tour guides for the exhibit. One of them was Reese Soukup, of David City.

“I think it’s sad seeing all the veterans who lost their lives, especially the younger ones,” Soukup said about the exhibit.

Kaydense Hansen, of David City, was another tour guide. She said that one day she wants to enlist in the U.S. Army.

“I just think it’s great to help our country as much as we can, especially now since there’s a lot of bad things happening,” Hansen said.

One of the exhibit’s visitors during the community open house was Donna Stearns, also of David City.

“It’s really touching,” Stearns said about the exhibit. “So much life ahead of them and just to be snuffed out is really sad.”

The Nebraska memorial is one of 15 other state exhibits put on by Patriotic Productions, an Omaha based nonprofit organization. After the David City stop, Remembering Our Fallen continues moving to other locations around the state.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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Eric Schucht earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 2018. He has written for The Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Roseburg News Review.

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