By Tyler Allen Explorebigsky.com Staff Writer

BIG SKY – The Big Sky School District honored America’s service men and women in its inaugural Veteran’s Day Assembly, on Friday, Nov. 9, thanking them for their service and sacrifice. Community members, students and Big Sky’s veterans of the armed forces attended the assembly, which was held in the Lone Peak High School gymnasium.

“I was really proud of the community for their support, the veterans for their attendance, but our students especially for their respectful behavior given to the veterans during the assembly,” said Superintendent Jerry House, himself an army veteran.

Retired Air Force Colonel Dick Fast spoke on behalf of the armed forces; student Dasha Bough coordinated the flag-folding presentation; senior Grayson Bell gave the key-note address, “What Freedom Means”; and the student band closed the ceremony with renditions of “America the Beautiful” and “Taps.”

House read a roll call, asking each of Big Sky’s 28 veterans to stand individually and in solidarity with the rest of their division of the armed forces. Veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard in attendance – some in uniform – were honored with standing ovations from the community members and students.

With his closing remarks, Bell reminisced about the first time he saw a member of the military in uniform. He said he saw a soldier in an airport in Florida and didn’t know what to do, whether he should stand and salute or thank the man for his service. So he did nothing.

Friday he took the opportunity to say, “thank you,” to all the men and women who have sacrificed and served on behalf of our freedom.