Veteran’s Day in Hutto, Texas impacts thousands of individuals. Youngsters to adults learn about patriotism and sacrifice. Active and retired servicemen and women are honored at public assemblies, a Hall of Honor museum, and an air show featuring vintage aircraft and sky divers. In previous years, Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, jeeps and trucks have been on display for the general public and students to view “hands-on” and engage pilots and mechanics who service these vehicles.
Veteran’s Day is probably one of the best recognized and most appreciated activities performed by public school teachers, students, parents, and citizens of Hutto, Texas. It must be also noted that the City of Hutto government and local area businesses contribute to Veteran’s Day along with school district administrators. Together, this supportive ensemble produces a day unlike any other day in our community.
Veteran’s Day began as an appeal from a principal who sought the assistance of two public school teachers. The teachers assumed the management of the event, and made it their own. It has been, and still is a labor of love for the teachers. One teacher, Paul Lister, oversees the airshow, the other, David Kinnaman, directs “on-the-ground” activities. After eight years, both teachers essentially compliment what the other cannot perform. As Veteran’s Day has expanded over the years, additional assistance became paramount for the coordinating teachers. The City of Hutto, area businesses, and private citizens contributed generously. Pilots and skydivers fly and jump at personal loss of income because they believe in our program. Furthermore, the several parties who fly and jump still participate at below market rates. If the pilots and skydivers did not agree to and believe in what is performed here once a year, we would not have an airshow.
The day is aimed at Hutto ISD students, offering them a look at what it means to be an American, and a push to understand the impact service and volunteerism can have. The day offers not only students an amazing educational opportunity to learn about an important day in our nation’s history, but also offers the community an inside look at how Hutto ISD educates students outside of the classroom. Designing and showing how students can participate in a hall, an assembly, or an airshow enables them to appreciate how volunteerism works, and a project such as Veteran’s Day becomes more than a holiday in November. The Hall of Honor museum showcases artifacts such as models, books and uniforms and guest speakers talk about the significance of the day, the people it honors and the history it endures.
Veteran’s Day in Hutto, Texas is not a vacation from school. Unlike other central Texas schools, students are offered a unique opportunity to experience how a community demonstrates civic virtues for an entire day. Normal academic lessons are set aside. Personal plans are deferred. Individuals come together listening, watching, and sharing the day’s proceedings built around the theme of what it means to be an American who is willing and able to defend his country.
Success breeds success. An established tradition has taken hold in our town through this event. One measure we plan to determine our success is the number of people that turn out and the volunteerism and education provided to the students. Truthfully, success will only continue if people contribute as best as they can, which includes time, talent, and money.