KALISPELL - It takes honor, sacrifice, commitment and action to be a soldier and on Veterans Day we say thanks to our soldiers for their selfless service to defend the freedoms we hold dear.
Reporter Nicole Miller has the story of how, across the Flathead Valley and beyond, communities are saluting our veterans in this Salute to Service report. Main Street in Kalispell was recently flanked on both sides with flags flying high in honor of Veterans Day.
Local wrestlers and members of the Kalispell/Glacier VFW Post 2252 hung the flags which stretch from the courthouse to Depot Park at 6 a.m. on Friday while most of us were still sleeping.
"The Post here in conjunction with the wrestling teams at Glacier High School and Flathead High School -- I think this is the third year we have done it," said Lee Fretwell with VFW Post 2252.
"Coach Jeff Thompson from Flathead and coach Ross Dankers from Glacier have been a great supporter of this. They have their kids out here they help us upload the flags and then we have a bunch of good wrestling food like donuts and milk at the post afterwards. It's a lot of fun," Fretwell added.
Fretwell, an assistant wrestling coach at Flathead High School is a veteran of Desert Storm and also served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He says part of the goal of the Post is to teach youth the responsibility of respecting the flag.
"It's a symbol of our country and it's something that we can hold onto that ties all of us together as veterans -- but not just veterans -- as Americans," Fretwell said. "At the Post that is one of our missions is to let everybody know what it means to us and what it should mean to everybody else."
Depot Park in Kalispell was perhaps the scene of one of the largest Veterans Day ceremonies in the Flathead Valley.