Lyons Elementary has a long-standing tradition of honoring veterans on Veterans Day. Everyone has a part to play, from Pre-K students who make thank-you cards for veterans to older children who make flags and educational history projects that are displayed in the halls.
About 25 veterans attend each year, so Lyons always adds something new to the program. This year it was a USO show, in which teachers in WWII-era clothing sang period songs and the Flamenco Dance Troupe – the boys dressed in service uniforms and girls in poodle skirts — performed the jitterbug. There was also a Little Miss Poppy Contest as well as a bugler.
“The kids really look forward to it,” said physical education teacher Myra Erwin, who is in charge of the event. “It’s important that this generation understands the sacrifices that have been made so that they can enjoy their freedom.” American Legion Post 177 partners with Lyons in producing the event and contributes prizes for contest winners.
This is the sixth year of attendance for WWII veteran Victor Sabala, who is wearing a veteran’s cap, flag tie, and several medals. “I could do something else, but I choose to be with the kids,” he said. “It just gets better every year.”
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Vietnam vet Ed Hubbard Jr. sometimes tears up during the program. “These kids need to be inspired to serve their country,” he said. “They need to understand that freedom is not free.”
Fifth-grader Javier Rodriguez said that it makes the students happy to meet the veterans and thank them for their hard work and sacrifice.
Other HISD schools held ceremonies or celebrations as well:
• Windsor Village Elementary School participated in the Astros “Salute to Veterans” at Minute Maid Park, with musical entertainment by singers Garry Morris and Tracy Byrd and a screening of “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.”
• Chavez High School paid tribute with a moment of silence and recognition of veterans who work at the school.
• Lovett Elementary had a musical program at Minute Maid Park to honor veterans. Their band, choir, and strings performed, and members of the military, firefighters, and police officers were invited to attend.