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Bozeman locals honor veterans and their families

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Nov 11 2012 06:04:51 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

"We remember and pray for our veterans on this Veteran's Day."

Gallatin County Sheriff's Chaplain Warren Hiebert started the Veteran's Day ceremony with a prayer, expressing appreciation for the men and women in our military who have given so much.

"Pray like we want to and singing our songs that we want to sing.  That's just part of our freedom from our veterans working so hard to give us these freedoms," says American Legion District Seven Commander Len Albright.

Vietnam Veteran and Bozeman resident George Morales says he comes to the Veteran's Day ceremony every year.

"Almost like a duty for me to wish my brothers well, to honor them in my mind because I tell you, when I got back from 'Nam, I didn't want anything to do with anything, with veterans, with veterans' administration.  I just wanted to get on with my life," says Morales.

He says one of the most moving parts of the ceremony for him was meeting young family members of serviceman who died oversees.

"That just hit home, that hit home because young people need to realize that it's not about war, it's not about the confrontation of an enemy trying to shoot you," says Morales.

Instead, Morales says he hopes the younger generations can come to understand it's about honoring service men and women and the sacrifice they made.

"How do you say, I'm sorry about your loss for your loved one and, yet, because we're out here on this Veteran's Day say, but be proud.  Don't just go and get into your little cave and mourn.  Yes, you're going to do that but be proud of that person who died for you," says Morales.

Folks gathered to honor our veterans say it's also important to recognize their families.

"They suffer, too, being away and having their dads gone and their husband, wife, having them deployed.  So, they suffer, too, without having the whole family together," says Albright.

Albright says this was also a day to remember and honor a number of local veterans who recently died in the last month and that it's important to thank our veterans every day, not just on Veteran's Day.

The ceremony at Sunset Hills was just one Bozeman event to recognize veterans.  

The American Legion also hosted a breakfast and the Chord Rustlers Chorus presented a musical salute at the Bozeman Senior Center. 

In Livingston, two Bozeman filmmakers screened their film "Not Yet Begun to Fight" about veterans' organization Warriors and Quiet Waters.