KUNA - Veterans Day is Saturday, and one of the biggest celebrations in the Treasure Valley happens Friday inside of Kuna High School. Around 2,000 people pack the gym to honor those who have served our country.
"It's the event where hundreds of veterans come and the entire school body is here and a helicopter lands," explains David Reinhart, spokesperson for the Kuna School District. "It's a big deal."
Unfortunately, a worry surfaced this year and the district has been scrambling to make sure the assembly stays respectful.
"There was a rumor that students would take a knee during the national anthem," said Reinhart.
Reinhart says the rumor was started by a student who has since apologized, but it has sparked a lot of reaction from students and parents.
"People feel strongly about their country and we understand that," said Reinhart.
He says the district has been proactive by talking with students about free speech.
"When it's proper to assemble and when it's proper to express yourself and exercise your right to free speech," said Reinhart. "Not on Veterans Day."
Reinhart says for students who still have a problem with the assembly they will be supervised elsewhere in the building.
"We've worked hard with students on an individual basis to make sure it's a dignified ceremony for all veterans," said Reinhart.
Reinhart says Kuna High School has one of the highest military enlistment rates for graduates in the Treasure Valley, and that adds another layer of importance to the assembly. Some of the students will also become veterans.
Lt. Col. Michael Timmerman is in charge of Kuna High School's Air Force Junior ROTC program. He says his 122 students have been preparing for the assembly.
"It's an exciting time for us," said Timmerman. "We get to show off."
It's also humbling for them. Col. Timmerman says it should be for all of us as we remember the many sacrifices our military men and women have made.
"If we didn't have those people stepping up to the plate and willing to fight for the freedoms we have we wouldn't have the freedoms to do what we do," said Timmerman. "Some of those veterans aren't going to be sitting out there Friday because they didn't come back so to recognize that sacrifice is important. I think it is important."
The community is invited to come to the Veterans Day Assembly at Kuna High School. It will take place at 10 a.m. inside the gym.
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