After a few years of growth, the Cody School District’s Veterans Day Program is a true community event.

That’s the view of the organizers who are working to involve just about everyone they can, and making sure all veterans possible knows they are invited 9:30 a.m. Monday to Sweitzer Gymnasium for the ceremony.

The event, which started with mostly just elementary students, this year involves all those students along with middle and high school bands and choirs, veterans groups, the Cody Bronc Marching Band Color Guard, Cody Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard and more.

“It really is something we can all work together on,” said Eastside music teacher Emily Andrews. “I think this is the first year the community knows about it fully – hopefully a lot of veterans are there.”

All of them are welcome, with parking available across the street at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, with shuttles taking people across. As usual, the event is followed by a pie social during which elementary school student council members will serve veterans and their families. Fifth graders made commemorative pie plates for veterans to take home with them.

Before that, veterans will be treated to songs from students, a reading of a patriotic essay by student Kinley Bollinger, Scott Morrison playing bagpipes and at least one senior headed to the military serving as an emcee.

The tributes and activities with veterans start long before the actual event. This year the students have been raising funds for Northwest Battle Buddies, which trains service dogs for veterans. The group has three puppies in training and has asked each school’s students to name one.

Also, veterans and puppies have taken time to visit students in the schools and talk to them about their experiences.

“It offers an opportunity for our students to not only acknowledge the veterans and recognize their contribution, but to see them as people in the community,” Andrews said.

To have a veteran honored, email Gerry Scott, gscott@park6.org. Send a picture as well as the name and branch. If they are deployed, mention where.

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