Grissom High School band members talk about trip to mark Pearl Harbor anniversary

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Members of the Grissom High School Marching Band are back from a life-changing trip to Hawaii, where they participated in events to mark the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

The students spent their Thanskgiving Holiday paying tribute to World War II veterans.  The Marching Tigers were one of more than 30 bands from the U.S. mainland to perform in the Waikiki Holiday Parade.  The parade commemorates Pearl Harbor by honoring survivors and veterans in memory of the attacks from December 7, 1941.

Thousands of spectators lined Kalakaua Avenue along Waikiki Beach to cheer on the bands and listen to great music.

The Grissom Band performed in other events too, including for military veterans and the public at the U.S.S. Arizona Visitors Center and at the U.S.S. Missouri Battleship to mark the anniversary.

"The trip was really amazing - I don't think I'll ever forget that experience," said Vince Tomlin, a Grissom junior. "As we played at the U.S.S. Missouri memorial, there wasn't a dry eye in the place. You could tell that the emotions were really high, and I think that influenced our playing a lot, because I've never experienced anything like that."

Grissom High Senior Austin Meeks had the honor of playing "Taps" at the U.S.S. Missouri.

"In that moment, I was just thinking about what was going on at Pearl Harbor and it was so surreal playing for all those veterans," said Meeks.

The band prepared for the trip by rehearsing military music, and also had the opportunity to hear from a local World War II veteran about his experience serving at Pearl Harbor after the attack.

"When the veteran came here, he was like my age when he went to Pearl Harbor, so it was really emotional, getting to see him, and it was emotional there at the Arizona, where the ship sank," said Grissom junior Dominic Kuzy.

-Information, photos and video provided by Huntsville City Schools