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Student creates Hall of Heroes

Sarah Peer, 16, stands in front of the Hall of Heroes project she created at Strasburg High School. The project honors the school's graduates who have served in the military or are on active duty. Ryan Cornell/Daily (Buy photo)

By Ryan Cornell

STRASBURG -- Sarah Peer, 16, has found her own way to honor the armed forces this Memorial Day.

Embarking on a project she has called the Hall of Heroes, the Strasburg High School sophomore created a memorial to recognize the school's graduates who have served or are actively serving in the military.

The Hall of Heroes is located on a wall south of the high school's lobby and currently has pictures of 18 service members, spanning the graduating classes between 1963 and 2009.

She said the idea for the project came about three months ago from a conversation she had with her father.

"We really wanted to recognize the men and women who have served for our country and for everything they have done," she said. "So we were brainstorming and we were thinking of some ideas, and what we thought about was putting pictures in the hallways so everyone could see them."

Sarah said she brought the idea to Strasburg Principal Ken Knesh, who embraced it and gave her permission to hang the photos on the wall.

Her mom then sent out a message on Facebook asking for photos and the family began framing and hanging them up.

As the daughter of a veteran, Sarah said she wanted to show her appreciation for other military families for their service.

Her father, Todd Peer, graduated from Strasburg in 1982 and served in the Army National Guard for more than 20 years, including a tour in Afghanistan when Sarah was 6 years old.

"We know firsthand how the families are and what they're going through and we just really wanted to recognize what they've done for our country," she said.

Sarah said she is accepting donations so she can eventually place the pictures in wooden frames along with brass placards.

"I want to keep it up there as long as we can," she said, adding that she is always looking to add more pictures to the wall.

Pictures can be dropped off at Strasburg High School with information detailing the service member's name, rank, dates served and names of any wars or conflicts served.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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