Sixth grade students at Fillmore Central shared essays they had written during the Veterans Day program on Monday, Nov. 11. They had written the essays in Melissa Onsager's sixth grade classroom. The following are a sample of what the students wrote about, including their favorite veterans and how they feel about Veterans Day.

My Favorite Veteran

By Kandace Sikkink

My favorite veteran is my grandpa, David Sikkink. He was born in Rochester on Oct. 29, 1939. He had two sisters and he was the oldest. He was born into a farming family and farmed before he was drafted.

He joined the army in 1958 because he was drafted. After two years my grandpa has served his duties. In 1960, my grandpa was done serving his time in the army. He served in the army between the Vietnam and Korean War. While in the army, he served in the 101st Airborne Division. His job was in the gunner motor division.

He was the commander of the VFW. He told me stories when he was in the army that you have to wait in line for a long time for your food, you have to make your own bed and you have to shine your shoes.

After my Grandpa finished his service in the army, he married my grandma, Mary Sikkink. They had four children, my Uncle Lynn, my Aunt Deb, my Uncle Scott and my dad, Mark.

A story my dad told me about Grandpa was about when my grandpa had to jump out of planes. When my grandpa and his fellow soldier were supposed to jump out of airplanes, they were told they were supposed to strap the gun to their leg. When my grandpa jumped out and landed, his gun was not strapped on the right way and the stock of the gun broke. I think my grandpa got in a little trouble for that.

The reason my grandpa is my favorite veteran is because I've heard stories about what people have gone through while in the army (some stories sounded hard on people) and my grandpa always walks around with a smile and a good attitude still today.

My grandpa is also very smart. Whenever my brother, Alec, and I need help, he knows what to do.

Another reason my grandpa is my favorite veteran is because he has served for our country while in the army and he still does today. One way he still serves today is by going to fallen veteran funerals and shoots the gun for their death. He brings home the shells from the bullets he shot and gives them to the grandkids. He goes to pay his respects and support to the family. Another way he still serves his country is when he walks in the parade to show is support to his fellow veteran.

Grandpa Dave still farms in Fillmore County to this day with my dad and has a lot of pigs and some horses. To me, watching him farm makes him happy.

My idea of being a veteran is whether you're in the army or not, being a veteran means you still serve your country.

I asked my grandpa what it means to him to be a veteran. He said, "To serve in the army for our country." That made me so happy because he said it so proud.

I am very proud to have my grandpa and honored that he is a veteran and fought for our country. I don't know what I would do without him.

What Veteran's Day Means to Me

By Krista Jorgenson

What does Veterans Day mean to me? I ask myself this question every year on Nov. 11th. To me, it is a day to appreciate and respect every amazing thing our veterans have done and are doing. It is a day to respect all the people who have died in the military, who have served, and are currently serving in the military. They dedicate their lives to keeping our country safe.

I think about how lots of families are split up. I don't think that I could be split up from my family for that long not knowing if they are okay or what they are doing. They could be separated for months and even years. I think of the little kids that have to grow up without moms and dads. Some of them never get them back either. For their parents it would be hard too. They have to leave their kids not knowing if they will ever see them again.

I think that Veterans Day is not just a day to think about violence, death and destruction. I think it's a day to think about how much our veterans have done and are doing for our country. If they didn't fight for us we would not be living in the United States of America. The veterans are protecting our freedoms that make this country free. Lots of other countries don't have the same rights we do. That's why our veterans are proud to risk their lives and do the right thing.

I think our veterans are very brave. They just have to leave their family and go to war. I think they are powerful and are proud American citizens. They are thoughtful because they are risking their lives to keep the country they love free. They are proud to keep us free and safe. I think it is so amazing they are basically just going to war to fight so people like you and I don't have to change our lives.

Like most families, I have veterans in my family. My dad and both grandpas have served for this country. I am very proud of them and all the other veterans. I think they served for our country because they wanted the rest of my family to be safe and have the rights they had. They are very important people to me.

Veteran's Day is a very special and important holiday. No, we don't get presents, but it is a day we can honor our soldiers who are dead and alive. What they do is amazing and they deserve to be honored. Without them we would not be the same country or the same people. We should show our appreciation to them not just on Nov. 11, but every day.

That's what Veterans Day means to me. It is very important.

What Veteran's Day Means to Me

By Ian Shupe

To me, Veterans Day is a day to honor and recognize men and women that are alive or have died who have fought or are fighting for our country. No country has ever done as many good things as we have done. Veterans deserve the care and respect we give them on Veterans Day every day for fighting for our country and our freedom. I hope people can see all the good things we have because of our veterans.

One of the good things we have because of our veterans is freedom, because without them we wouldn't be free today. That is a big thing because if we were not free we couldn't do all the things we like doing. A veteran must have a lot of bravery to put their life at risk for our freedom. Some veterans don't see any of their family for months and years. I know I couldn't do that.

Veterans Day means the world to me because if it wasn't for Veterans I wouldn't be free to do the things I love doing today. To think there is about 25 million veterans and we only honor them for one day a year. So we have to make that day really special for them. The reason we honor them is because they have the courage and bravery to fight for our country.

I'm not sure if I could do that, but I'm glad there are people who will risk their lives for our country and our freedom. Veterans must love their country to risk their lives for it. Since the Revolutionary War to now, people have been fighting for our country.

That is what Veterans Day means to me.

My Favorite Veteran

By Nick Brynjarsson

My grandpa is my favorite veteran. He was in the Air Force and served in the Vietnam War. He started out at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for basic training in 1964. Then, he went to school for aircraft weapons training at Lowry Air Force Base near Denver, Colo. After that, he went to Barksdale Air Force Base bear Bossier City, La., and worked loading nuclear weapons onto B-52s.

In July 1966, he went to Vietnam with the 4th Air Commando Squadron based in Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, where he flew over 100 combat missions on the AC-47 gunship as a weapons crewman. The AC-47 had three mini-gatling guns which could fire 100 rounds of ammunition per second.

The aircraft got the nicknames Spooky and Puff the Magic Dragon because when the guns were firing tracer bullets, it looked like a dragon spitting fire from the sky.

After returning from Vietnam in August 1967, he was sent to the Grand Forks Air Force Base in Grand Forks, N.D., where he worked on F-101 and F-106 interceptors.

His final assignment was at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio where he was involved in training aircrews on the new gunship called the AC-130 gunship. This aircraft had four mini-guns and a 20MM gatling gun and later it had the option of a cannon.

When he was discharged from the Air Force in 1968, he went to college at Winona State University in Winona and graduated in 1972.

My grandpa is not only my favorite veteran he is also my favorite person. He is always been there for me.

He loves it when I come over and watch movies with him. Basically, I do everything with him so I hope have a special bond with someone like me and my grandpa. That's why I chose him.

What Veteran's Day Means to Me

By Makenna Gatzke

Veteran's Day, to me, is a day to honor and remember those who have died and fought for our country, those who have fought in the wars and those who are fighting in the war right now. Even if you don't know any veterans you should still honor them every day.

If they fought as Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine it doesn't matter because they all fought in the war and sacrificed their lives for ours. It doesn't matter if they fought in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, Iraq War, Korean War, Afghanistan War or any other war. It doesn't matter because they were all willing to sacrifice their lives for ours.

I think veterans should be honored every day, not just one day, but we should still have this one day where we can remember and honor veterans. I think this day is very important because the veterans are going out and risking their lives to make our lives better. I think veterans are like superheroes because they bring peace and freedom to our lives.

I think veterans have a lot of courage because they are leaving their families and lives to fight for our freedom. I think veterans also are people with a lot of courage, hope and strength because they can be afraid that they will never come back home but they still go out and fight for their families and all other people in the United States of America. I think veterans are really strong because they go out and make our lives better.

This is what Veteran's Day means to me.