Veterans Day Tribute Takes Part In Hardin-Simmons Football Game

November 15, 2018 Lucila Decia, Staff Writer

Saturday afternoon the fans at Shelton Stadium embraced the HSU purple and gold spirit at the Cowboys football game. The final home game turned into a victory for the Cowboys 83-6 over crosstown rival McMurry University. But more than that, unity and respect brought those present together to commemorate Veterans Day. The Cowboy Band along with the McMurry band took the lead in this tribute during the pre-game show and joined to honor the people who served this country.

Veterans Day honors the veterans of the United States Armed Forces.  In the USA, there are an estimated 20 million veterans; of those, veterans from the Vietnam war are the largest group, numbering over 7 million.

The performance featured the two schools’ bands doing the ‘Armed Forces Salute.’ This salute includes the tunes for the Navy, the Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Coastguard, and the United States Air Force.

The Cowboy Band has been doing the tribute for the last few years, and this is at least the third year that McMurry joins the HSU Band to perform for this holiday. Members of the Hardin-Simmons Band said what it meant for them to have such honor.

The Cowboy Band on Veterans Day
The Cowboy Band on Veterans Day

“This is my third year being part of the Veterans Day performance, and I love doing it. I am excited, and I believe it is a good way to honor those who served for the country,” said Elisa Castillo, a junior student.

Castillo also talked about the deep meaning for her of the performance.

“It means a lot for me because I had family members who served the country, so I want to make sure everything is perfect, ” she said.

Since this is not a usual performance for the Cowboy Band, Castillo said she noticed a difference in other student’s attitudes.

“We know that some families will come with veterans, so everyone wanted to make sure the anthem sounds good,” she said.

The audience played a special role in the tribute because some of them brought family or friends that served in the military. Billy Harden, Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music, explained the audience response is vital to take the performance to its highest level.

“I believe the audience will enjoy it. What we are doing is different, and I do not think the Cowboy Band has done a scatter drill like this before,” said Harden.

The Cowboy Band is always ready to cheer for HSU, but for this occasion, they brought the tribute with such honor and excitement that reached out to the hearts of all those present.