FREEDOM TO ME — PVS student Aaron Kleinsasser explains what freedom is to him, as USAF Master Sergeant Joshua Gaffney looks on. MSgt. Gaffney was the keynote speaker at a PVS program on Veteran’s Day that recognized and honored all the area local veterans. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
The students of Prairie View School (PVS) together with their staff held an Honor Day for Veterans on Nov. 11.
Kicking off the ceremony was a short welcome by Greg Jensen, school principal, with the Pledge of Allegiance led by him and student Aaron Kleinsasser.
State Senator Llew Jones was the first speaker and he touched on the history of freedom.
Following Jones’ address, the fifth grade classes of Diana Agre and Val Kellogg sang America, America the Beautiful and the Battle Hymn of the Republic under the direction of music teacher Todd Truscott. They were accompanied by Ernestine Olson.
Master Sergeant Joshua Gaffney of Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls was the keynote speaker for the program.
He spoke of the veteran’s sense of duty, noting that protecting our freedom is a duty which sometimes means “You have to go overseas.”
He commented that “military life is a sacrifice and it may mean leaving family, friends and a way of life.”
Gaffney told the Vets that were present, “You have answered your nation’s call,” and he thanked all of the veterans for “giving me my freedom.”
The fourth grader Joanna Fuchs read a poem, They Did Their Share. Then the classes of Kim Hofstad and Jennifer Schlepp sand a song titled, Thank you Soldiers.
The special program concluded with a medley of the songs for each branch of the services for which the veterans of that particular branch were asked to stand and be recognized.
After the program, the veterans were served a lunch by the PVS students, courtesy of the school.