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Students Show Soldiers Thanks

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COLUMBIA FALLS -

Elementary all the way up through high school-aged students in Columbia Falls said thank you to veterans on November 11.

The choir, the band, and the color guard came together in the Columbia Falls High School auditorium, to honor a crowd of more than a hundred local veterans. At least one of the speakers was a little nervous.

"I was very, very scared," said Ella Hutcheson.

Columbia Falls fifth grader, Ella Hutcheson, wrote an essay in Mr. Rice's English class that was selected by the National Honor Society to be read at the assembly.

"I worked on it over the weekend, but I did most of my work on a Sunday afternoon with my mom," explained Ella.

Coordinating the essay competition is just one of the many duties the nearly twenty-member Columbia Falls honor society covered to make all this happen.

"Really, for us, the planning process starts really at the beginning of the year. This is one of the biggest things we as the National Honor Society put on," said Mason Gedlaman, an honor society member and senior at CFHS.

Before the ceremony that is more than thirty years old at CFHS, all the veterans invited were given red poppy boutineers, a symbol of their service.

"I do have some grandpas and uncles who were in the military and so I knew this was something really important--not to be messing around with," said Ella.

Ella was one of two elementary students to read their original work during the Veterans Day assembly. Third grader, Norelle King-Kaaihue, also shared her essay.

Messages from Senator Max Baucus and Senator Jon Tester were also read by their respective representatives.

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