The Lufkin community celebrated its veterans with the annual Honor America Night at Abe Martin Stadium on Saturday.

Presented by the Lufkin ISD band department, the event began inside the Lufkin High School cafeteria with an All-American meal of hot dogs and apple pie.

“We ran out of hot dogs, so I’d say it was a success,” said Band Booster president Sharon Kruk.

Following the dinner, attendees moved to the stadium for the performances and tributes, beginning with the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, followed by performances from the middle school and high school bands. The majorettes from all levels performed, as well.

The night included tributes to each branch of the military, fallen service members, family members of service members and a moment of silence to reflect. The event also had a special recognition of Army veteran Darvin Horton. Horton fell ill Friday and was unable to attend the event in person, but was still recognized and respected for his service to our country.

A 10-minute fireworks display wrapped up the night.

“It rivals some of the better fireworks displays that I’ve seen,” Kruk said. “It’s a really big one.”

Vietnam War Marine veteran Oscar Marr was enjoying the performances in the stands Saturday night. His dad was Gen. George S. Patton’s personal messenger during World War II, and Marr himself has a lot to be proud of from his time in the service, as well. He was awarded four stars and two Purple Hearts, and carries them with great humility.

“I was just like a bunch of other guys. I went in and did my time, I did my job and then came back home,” he said. “You do what you think you need to do, you know. It’s not a big deal. I appreciate everyone who goes into the service.”

As far as Marr’s take on the Lufkin ISD band program honoring the community’s veterans each year, he simply said, “It’s respect,” as he proudly watched his granddaughter perform with the band.

Dena Stokes’ email address is dena.stokes@lufkindailynews.com.

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