The sound of helicopter blades marked the beginning of a Tuesday ceremony at Celina High School.
That morning, the Celina community gathered in the Celina High School gym to honor local veterans during a morning ceremony that included an honor guard and a band performance.
Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner, the event’s keynote speaker, kicked off the ceremony by arriving in the school driveway on a Vietnam era Huey helicopter.
“For many ears, it’s a really cool sound of a helicopter,” Skinner said during the event. “But for many others, that sound of that Huey means so much more: Freedom, life, honor, sacrifice.”
Students lined the school hallways that morning to cheer a parade of veterans, who represented every war since World War II, according to the city of Celina.
During his speech, Skinner said the greatest attribute veterans possess is humility.
“You should know that veterans have done amazing feats that you will never know about,” he said. “They would tell you it was their job, or that they were just doing their duty. I look into the eyes of the many veterans here today and, to a person, if they did discuss their service, each would prefer to brag on their branch of service, their unit or their buddies before themself.”
Skinner, who served for eight years as a U.S. Air Force security police dog handler, investigator and EST (SWAT) team operator, ended his speech by thanking fellow veterans for their service.
“Please know that when you thank a veteran for their service, they are grateful for your recognition,” Skinner said, “and even if they don’t say it, they’re always thinking ‘You’re worth it.’”