Veterans Day Tribute at Friona H.S. grows

Students and staff gear up to host annual event to honor veterans at Friona High School using music and choir programs (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

Students at Friona High School are gearing up to host a Veteran’s Day tribute on Friday at the high school. Since 1999, students have organized a special tribute honoring veterans. Students who are in the school’s band will play musical numbers and students in the choir will sing patriotic songs. There were 30 veterans from Parmer County honored at the tribute. Now, 18 years later, more than 70 veterans will be recognized and honored by the students.

“The Veteran’s Day Program helps us remember that it’s not all about us and that the freedoms that we have that we often take for granted were earned,” said Brooklynne Johnston, student at Friona High School. “We learn about their struggles of what they have to go through and it kind of puts everything into perspective for us.”

“Being around the veterans makes me appreciate them more for what they do and for the fact that they fight for our country,” said Damian Rodriguez, student at Friona High School.

Since starting in 1999, the annual event has grown to include choirs and the other campuses with Friona ISD and from community organizations. Hollis Horton who served in World War II in the Honor Guard for General McArthur, tells ABC 7 News the tribute has special meaning.

“I think that every veteran that comes and enjoys it two ways,” said Horton. “I think they enjoy being here and being recognized. The veterans also enjoy seeing the young children. It’s a very impressive program.”

“It’s a way for the school to honor our veterans,” said Richie Hill, a veteran. “It’s also a nice way for students to see veterans and see what they’ve done to keep the United States free.”

Erin Barnett is a teacher at Friona High School. She tells ABC 7 News the tribute helps students understand about commitment and sacrifice men and women have made defending the country.

“It does humble them and it does make them appreciate the veterans,” she said. “Sometimes it does encourage them to maybe want to go into the service and learn about the branches and what each branch is responsible for.”

The Veterans Day tribute starts at 10 a.m. and will begin with “In Honor of the Fallen” by the Friona High School band and will feature songs along with Taps by Hadley White and Nathan Flores and other performances by students.

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