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HUSD partners with the Town of Gilbert to honor Veterans Day

HUSD JROTC group picture

For sixteen years, the Town of Gilbert has hosted a celebration an annual event to honor the veterans in our community. While there were several changes to this year’s Veterans Day Celebration in Gilbert, one thing remained consistent: the partnership between Higley Unified School District and the Town of Gilbert.

This year, the Veterans Day Celebration was held on November 5th at Gilbert Regional Park and required guests to register beforehand in order to help with social distancing efforts.

At the ceremony, a model of the newly designated USS Arizona Fast Attack Submarine was unveiled as well.

“This is a day that the Town can recognize all the great veterans in our community. Higley has been a tremendous partner for this most notably providing our ceremony with your school district’s JROTC to post the colors, symphonic band for patriotic music and providing commemorative coins to give our veterans,” said Mike Leppert, the Special Events Coordinator for the Town of Gilbert.

The Williams Field High School Symphonic Band, led by Director Bob Edgar, opened the celebration at 6 PM with patriotic music.

In addition to the Williams Field Symphonic Band, Higley’s Air Force Junior ROTC participated in the event. The AFJROTC program was started in 2006 and has cadets from both Higley and Williams Field High School. According to Colonel David Vaughn, who is an Aerospace Science instructor with the AFJROTC, the Higley Drill Team has participated in the event for many years.

“The Township Veterans Affairs committee reached out to us and asked us to participate again in this year’s event,” said Vaugh. “We are always very excited to be a part.”

This year, all twelve members of the Higley AJFROTC Drill Team participated in the event. The cadets participated in color guard, an armed drill sequence, and provided escort and information services for guests.

In the beginning, Vaughn said they were unsure of where the celebration would take place. The cadets developed “unique and adaptable four cadet sequence that could be performed at any venue,” according to Vaughn.

“There is a lot of pride in the discipline and training that goes into learning to drill well. Being precise, on step, on time, as a team,” said Vaughn.

“They love to compete at drill meets that come with the thrill of victory and earning team trophies. They really join to be able to serve and perform for their school and community,” said Vaughn.

Special thanks to the Town of Gilbert for hosting this special event to honor our veterans each year and for allowing HUSD to be a partner for the past eight years.

Today we celebrate all of those who have served our country. Thank you.

JROTC performing ceremony