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Lt. Gov. Michels, Kimball residents thank vets

KIMBALL--Thanksgiving came early in Kimball. On Wednesday night, South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, a Navy veteran, called Veterans Day "a type of Thanksgiving" for those who have served. In honor of Veterans Day, Michels addressed a group of mo...

South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels addresses a crowd of more than 50 people during a Veterans Day program on Wednesday at the American Legion building in Kimball. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)
South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels addresses a crowd of more than 50 people during a Veterans Day program on Wednesday at the American Legion building in Kimball. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)

KIMBALL-Thanksgiving came early in Kimball.

On Wednesday night, South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, a Navy veteran, called Veterans Day "a type of Thanksgiving" for those who have served.

In honor of Veterans Day, Michels addressed a group of more than 50 people at the Kimball American Legion about the importance of honoring the nation's "greatest heroes," not only on national designated holidays, but every day.

"There are other societies that people can't make it in," Michels said. "They want to come to the land of freedom. We're free because people have died, are willing to die and are currently protecting us."

Michels said he was happy to see a mix of young faces in the crowd at the potluck dinner and Veterans Day service. He said often, at similar presentations, he has seen crowds of predominantly older people, but it is important for younger generations to understand what veterans do for the U.S.

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"My mother always told us, 'If you can dream it, you can do it.' This is a country where you can't waste your opportunities," Michels said. "So, by virtue of those people who fought before us, those who serve and continue to serve, I was able to go to school."

Along with honoring those who have served and continue to do so, Michels highlighted that it is important to not take for granted the rights that people of the United States have because of these servicemen and women.

He said that is evident in the United States' government system.

"One of the things I think we all take for granted, myself included, is you have the right-not only the right, but the obligation-to challenge. To ask questions. To agree. To disagree. To say 'Hey, you work for us, not the other way around.' "

He also took time to address the group about the ultimate price that some who have served have given-their lives, saying "liberty has a price."

"You had a dream. We all do," Michels told The Daily Republic. "Without these people who served, we couldn't live those dreams."

Also present at the ceremony was Nick Emerson, who was recognized as a member of the Kimball American Legion for more than 70 years. Emerson, a World War II veteran, was given a certificate for his involvement in the American Legion and a Quilt of Valor for his service in the war.

Michels thanked Emerson for his service.

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It is important, Michels said, to honor veterans, as the services encourage others to join the efforts to protect the United States-a land of freedom, which is a privilege that many other countries around the world don't have.

"A number of people despise the fact that we are a nation of freedom," Michels said. "We are still a nation of tolerance and that is the one thing that is a beacon. That makes us unusual. That is something that I just don't think that we should ever lose sight of."

Related Topics: KIMBALLVETERANS
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