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Published November 12, 2012, 06:01 PM

Vietnam vets honored at Breckenridge High School

Breckenridge, MN (WDAY TV) - Breckenridge honored veterans today by focusing on those who shaped our country.

Breckenridge, MN (WDAY TV) - Breckenridge honored veterans today by focusing on those who shaped our country.

Between a Veterans Day program and helicopter dedication, it was an effort to instill patriotism, and pride.

Paul Whitney, Teacher Breckenridge High: "Most families, no matter what political persuasion are proud of their veterans. And you're proud of their service. And we need to honor them and treat them with respect."

That gratitude is evident at Breckenridge High School during this Veterans Day program. War heroes and students were solemn, grateful.

Michael Whitney, Student Breckenridge High: "It's just one of those days where you have to sit back and think ‘Thank you.’"

And after a year and a half of planning, a heartfelt dedication of this Cobra helicopter at the Veterans Park in Breckenridge. A fitting monument, for what some call a town full of patriots.

Mel Walker, Vietnam Vet: "No one, in their wildest dreams, could make up a place like these two cities."

Mel Walker's a Vietnam vet who should've been on this helicopter when it crashed, but a new recruit wanted in on the mission.

Walker: "The new guy, was the new guy, and he wanted to fly. Instead of me being in the airplane, Pearson was in the airplane. And they were shot down."

A moment of silence for those men. Just a few of the 60,000 who served in that decades-long war.

Corky Lauritsen, Vietnam Vet: “I go to the Vietnam Wall. There is names on there, really gets me in the heart. Them kind of people come first."

As the American flag waved defiantly in the sun, thunderous claps roared from gloved hands, as Breckenridge showed respect, appreciation, for giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.

Crews will finish up landscaping on Veterans Park next spring.

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