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New Stars and stripes greet students on first day of school

Local donation funds classroom flags, outdoor flag and new pole
Lead Summary
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Mavis Fodness

Tuesday marked the first day of the 2021-22 school year for Luverne Public School students.
Waiting for them were gifts from local veterans — American flags for each classroom and a large, new flagpole outside the new entrance to Luverne Middle-High School.
Glen Gust, a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran and retired Luverne business owner, and his wife, Barb, funded the gift of 110 flags for the elementary, middle school and high school classrooms.
They also partnered with the Hardwick and Luverne American Legions and the Rock County Veterans Fund with the Luverne Area Community Foundation.
At a small event Friday afternoon under the new flagpole, the veteran groups and the Gusts were recognized and thanked for their donations. Twenty-five veterans and their spouses attended.
“What a wonderful gift,” said Superintendent Craig Oftedahl, whose grandfathers were both World War II veterans. “We couldn’t have public schools without your service and your sacrifice.”
Prior to the middle-high school remodeling project, each classroom had a flag, some dating back to 1956.
The new 2021 flags were on display Friday in each classroom as the veterans toured the remodeled facility.
The Gusts said they hope the flags lead to an understanding and the meaning behind being a U.S. citizen.
“We need to teach patriotism,” Barb said.
“Because freedom isn’t free,” added Glen.
A new flag is also located in the new middle-high school commons. The school board room has two new flags, an American flag and a flag of the state of Minnesota.

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