BEEVILLE, Texas — Every year, Beeville ISD hosts a Veterans Day ceremony at AC Jones High School. The ceremony is held on the football field, at the aptly-named Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Students from every BISD school sit in the stands, with local veterans on the field. This year, the keynote speaker was retired Air Force Col. Randall Ashmore, who graduated from AC Jones High School.
“It was an absolute honor," he said of the opportunity. "I was very surprised when they contacted me and asked me to do it, and I was was beyond honored to speak at my alma mater on Veterans Day."
Ashmore spoke to the crowd about the history of Veterans Day and what the day means to him, and shared the stories of local veterans who served in various wars.
“A lot of people don’t realize the sacrifices our veterans have made for our nation, sacrifices they’ve made personally, for us to remain free as a nation,” he said.
The students old enough to understand the significance of the day were grateful to listen to Ashmore speak.
“It really hits you in the heart, because these are people from our community, and just hearing their stories about when they went to war, it’s crazy,” said AC Jones student body president Kinlee Ramon.
Ramon appreciated hearing the stories of local veterans, and seeing those sitting on the football field.
“I have a lot of family members who are veterans, and just to see everyone out here supporting them, and getting them together as a community, it’s really awesome,” she said.
The ceremony also included performances from the AC Jones varsity mixed choir, marching band, and Fadden-Mc Kowen-Chambliss Elementary choir, as well as a laying of the wreath ceremony, and three-volley salute.
One person in attendance who the ceremony was particularly meaningful to is AC Jones Assistant Principal Ben Barris, who is also a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. He served for more than 20 years.
“Any time you’re talking about the veterans, you’re thinking about the ones who came before you, and sacrificed so much for you,” Barris said. “Hosting this every year, bringing all our district schools in, and inviting other schools, it makes us realize they value the service the veterans gave.”
Also in attendance at the event was the AC Jones football team, who dedicated Thursday night’s playoff football game to all the veterans in attendance at the ceremony.