It was a mix of somber and joyous energy as large crowds filled the seats of T.F. Riggs High School Theater and Stanley County's Parkview Auditorium to honor veterans on Thursday.

The American Legion Post 8 in Pierre hosted this year's annual program at Riggs. The packed theater's attendees shifted from energetic to quietly attentive as U.S. Army veteran John Moisan took to the stage and talked about the respect and disrespect Vietnam-era veterans experienced.

At Parkview, the large crowd included Stanley County elementary students who presented poems and facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The student council served coffee and cookies to veterans and their families before the program began. The students also sang songs for the program, including an outstanding rendition of the national anthem by Racheal Runge.

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