In May, Dakota Adventist Academy participated for the first time with 89 other entities from around the state in the 24th annual Bismarck-Mandan Band Night Parade in Bismarck, North Dakota. The day was very windy and cold, but the weather did not seem to dampen attendance.
The academy’s position in line was number 29 until it was noted, about a week before the parade, that the school had indicated they planned to enter three horses as well as the band. Their entry number was then changed to 90—last place.
Most participating bands are marching bands in full regalia, but since DAA’s band is not, they elected to sit on straw bales on the back of a 40-foot fifth-wheel trailer in blue jeans and school shirts. Director Charlotte Messer conducted the band from a standing position at the front of the trailer. The nation flags of attending students (Canada, Australia, China, Korea, Indonesia and Thailand) were draped from the fifth-wheel platform.
Dennis and Cherryl Kaiser donated the use of their truck for the occasion, which pulled the trailer belonging to Ryan and Tracy Peterson. Attached to the truck were magnetic signs advertising the school and the Dirt Kicker Charity Run, which originates at the school the day after camp meeting. Blue metallic fringe decorated the sides of the trailer. Displayed on the back of the trailer was the KTWJ Christian radio station’s banner.
Rylee Peterson, Alea Juhl and Faith Peterson rode the three horses following the procession. They held the United States flag, the North Dakota state flag and the Christian flag.
Students walked on both sides of the float, distributing candy and DAA stickers to children along the route. Four ladies representing the Dirt Kicker Charity Run shared postcard-sized advertisements and also handed out pens advertising the radio station.
Citizens along the route said, “I’ve heard of that school. Where is it located?” Many also stood while the flags passed, saluting or holding their hands over their hearts. The Marine Corps started the parade with the United States flag and the academy, as the last entrant, closed the parade displaying the flags. It brought tears to many eyes. The children, however, were excited to see the horses.
Messer said she chose to use the Medical Cadet Corp March as the predominate music for the parade because it is exclusively Adventist and because “my Grandpa Sheldon was in the MCC and sang this song.” She found a photo and write-up regarding the Medical Cadet Training in the 1945 Yearbook (see below).
Sheyenne River Academy’s 1945 Yearbook (precursor to Dakota Adventist Academy) states in part, “Several years ago, even before this terrible global war, Seventh-day Adventists, guided by the Holy Spirit, began to train the young men in the denomination for skilled service to save life…Our Medical Cadet training began in 1933 at Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska, and by now has spread to nearly every college and academy in the United States. Many of the boys, so trained, that are now in the Service, have written back testifying that it is a very valuable asset to the S. D. A. draftee.
“Sheyenne River Academy has a Medical Cadet Corps of eighteen boys that are nearing the draft age and who are intensely interested in receiving this training and are applying themselves so as to receive the most possible from this course.
“This war has given us an opportunity to render valuable Christian service in relieving suffering and saving life. Our boys do not hesitate to place their lives in danger where ever they can best serve their country, mankind, and God.”