It is just over 4,300 miles as the crow flies from Leighton, Alabama to Pearl Harbor.
Members of the Colbert County High School Band will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Saturday morning as they travel to Hawaii to participate in the annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.
It’s a journey of about a year. Last Thanksgiving, they received the original invitation. Something they never would have thought possible without the guidance of band manager Logan Pouncey.
“They wanted to do something new, something better, and they started pushing each other and buying into the program,” Pouncey explained.
In just a few years, he breathed new life into an almost dormant program.
“They realized it was fun to be good.”
These kids have done the extra work to make their community proud. In addition to preparing for Hawaii, they continued to excel in the walking competition season and football season, performing at their best.
“We’re known here for a tradition of excellence, we may not be the biggest band, but we’ll always be the best and be the best we can be,” Pouncey explained, “(and) everyone knows that. and I think they trust us now, they have this trust in us that we can represent Leighton and the Shoals very well as an ambassador.”
Participate in something much bigger than themselves.
“Freedom doesn’t come free. It takes a lot to be able to take a bunch of kids to Hawaii to do that concert, to do that parade,” he said.
“Meeting service members who are still alive to remind them that this is the greatest honor our city has had in a long time and this will likely be the last chance for anyone to meet WWII veterans who were alive, especially in Pearl Harbor. “
WAAY 31 will bring you special coverage of their journey. Marie Waxel will lead our team’s coverage starting on the WAAY 31 News at 10 p.m. Sunday.