Second, is to start kids young. To teach them about patriotism, respect for the flag, honoring their country and being proud to be an American.”
With so many schools in attendance, local youth got the opportunity to devote some of their class time to honoring veterans and many even performed. The Mineral Wells High School Marching Band played the National Anthem as members of MWHS FFA presented the colors before a vintage T-6 aircraft from the Eagle Flying Museum flew over the crowd to kick off the event.
Performing throughout the program were the Travis Elementary School Cadets, Lamar Elementary Little Troopers, Mineral Wells Junior High Choir, Houston Elementary (dancing to the “Veterans Day Stomp”), MWHS Choir and the Wranglerette Drill Team.
Governor Rick Perry issued a proclamation that event co-chair Karyn Bullock read aloud to the crowd. Perry thanked veterans and acknowledged their vital importance to the American way of life saying, “Old glory flies high and our nation remains free because of their devotion.”
Retired Col. Bryan Ellis served as the guest speaker. The Mineral Wells native and 1975 MWHS graduate spoke at length about the importance of growing up in Mineral Wells and the impact his hometown had on his life. A 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army, who participated in numerous operations and has been decorated with multiple medals and honors, he offered two poignant stories about two of his veteran friends and their depth of character and service.
To cap off the event, Lorraine Crutcher led the stadium in singing “This Land is Your Land” before the MWHS Student Council released a swarm of red, white and blue balloons. An ensuing rendition of “Taps” by two MWHS Band trumpeters, followed by the recovery of the colors, provided the perfect juxtaposition for the event: a celebration of American veterans and their service, but also a somber reminder of the sacrifices made by them and their families.