A celebration of patriotism and a solemn reminder of lives lost, Killeen’s annual Freedom Walk is today at Killeen High School and Leo Buckley Stadium.
The public is invited to attend and take part in the ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in the school’s gym and in the walk around the track at the adjacent stadium.
The event will mark the eighth year the Killeen Independent School District is hosting the event in partnership with Fort Hood.
The ceremony in the gym will feature the Ellison High School choir and student leaders from each of KISD’s four high schools.
The guest speaker is Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, deputy commander of the 1st Cavalry Division. The ceremony will honor Fort Hood Gold Star Families, the Warrior Transition Brigade and area first responders.
At the ceremony’s conclusion, the Killeen High School drum line will lead participants through the school parking lot into the stadium for one lap around the track.
Kimberly Hornsby, a KISD educator, will serve as honorary flag bearer in honor of her husband, the late Robert “Bobby” Hornsby, a Killeen police officer who died in the line of duty in July.
The walk will conclude with a bell ringing and a balloon release on the track.
At last year’s community walk, KISD Superintendent Robert Muller said honoring soldiers and first responders is “unique to many, but not to Killeen,” a place where groups consistently remember the military and soldiers’ family members.
Then Brig. Gen. Dean Milner, deputy commander of Fort Hood at the time, said the devastating impact of 11 years ago was a challenge to freedom, “but we will continue to remember.”
In addition to this year’s community event, all Killeen ISD campuses will honor America and first responders with campus activities.
Those range from student parades around campuses to guest speakers, history lessons and service projects.