Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A Civil War enthusiast’s day at the Minnesota State Capitol May 20, 2011

Brandon Peeters poses in his Union uniform at the Minnesota State Capitol.

WITH TELEVISION CAMERAS around him, Brandon Peeters of Owatonna led the Pledge of Allegiance during a Civil War Sesquicentennial Day program at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday.

It was a proud moment for his mom, Cindy Hokanson. “We had a great day at the Capitol,” Cindy says. “Brandon was so honored to meet so many people.”

And I expect they were equally pleased to meet this engaging seventh grader who enthuses about the Civil War, his history passion. He channels his interest in to teaching others about the war, participating in re-enactment and roundtable groups, visiting battlefields, learning and more. He’s also applied to serve on the Governor’s Civil War Commemoration Task Force.

That’s all pretty impressive stuff.

You certainly have to admire an individual with such passion, especially when he’s only 13.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Brandon Peeters.

Those gathered at the Capitol posed for a group photo. Brandon is in the second row.

Three Civil War cannons given to the First Minnesota Infantry Regiment were on display at the Capitol.

© Text Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Photos courtesy of Cindy Hokanson