On Thursday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m. the Mountain Home High School ROTC will host the district’s 11th annual “Freedom is Not Free” Veterans’  Program in the high school gym.

All local veterans are invited to attend the program that is aimed at both honoring their service and teaching high school students about the sacrifices American veterans have made for their country. 

High school ROTC instructor Bud Zorman oversees the event each year with the purpose of giving students the chance to meet and honor local Veterans and learn the importance of Veterans Day.

“It teaches them (students) that sacrifice means nothing without remembrance,” Zorman said.

During the program, Veterans will be recognized and honored by students, faculty, community members and political officials. The high school band will perform the National Anthem and other patriotic songs and the high school choir will sing the service songs of each military branch.

The high school ROTC Honor Guard will demonstrate the proper way to fold an American Flag, while explaining what each fold represents. The American Legion Honor Guard will shoot the ceremonial volleys to represent the 21-gun salute. Additionally, guest dignitaries will be present to show their support for the veterans.

During this event, honorary Mountain Home High School diplomas will be offered to veterans who were unable to complete their high school education due to service obligations. If any veterans are interested in receiving an honorary diploma during this event, they may contact Zorman at (870) 425-1215 before Oct. 25.

Veterans are encouraged to arrive at the event by 8:45 a.m. in order to be seated in designated seating before students enter. Veteran parking will be reserved around the Bomber plane and around the main drive leading up to the high school.

Zorman hopes high school students learn from this program and become more patriotic.

“Maybe they will truly understand how fortunate they are,” he said. “All that we have and hold dear is because of our veterans.”

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