It struck Cody High School senior Keith Conner most when he thanked veterans for their service.
Conner served as the emcee of the Cody School District Veterans Day ceremony Monday morning at Sweitzer Gymnasium.
“Acknowledging them really hit me hard,” he said.
He didn’t know he’d be handling the role until right before the state semifinal football game Friday night, but that didn’t cause him to hesitate.
“There was no question,” he said. “I was going to do it.”
Conner said he enjoys hearing from all the veterans in town, but for him the idea is personal as well. His uncle has been in the U.S. Air Force longer than Conner has been alive, and in less than a year he’ll be following his uncle into the service.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” he said. “He’s the one that led me to my decision.”
Conner is enlisting in the Air Force with designs on becoming a special forces combat control team member, putting him on track to someday possibly be looking up from the crowd at another student emcee.
“I really enjoyed it – today was extremely gratifying for me,” he said after the event. “I like to talk with veterans, listen to their stories. I want to do my best to fulfill what they started, uphold what they have done.”
So Monday morning he focused on the abundance of veterans in the community, and took note of the students and community members who packed the gym to honor them.
“Our veteran presence is amazing,” he said. “I think our community is really supportive of them. I feel veterans here are appreciated, as they should be.”