Honoring those who Served
When William Huben came to St. Wenceslaus School as its new principal five years ago, he brought not only his leadership in education but also a tradition of patriotism. Having served as the principal at St. Mary’s School in Bellevue, Huben embraced the strong connection the school has with Offutt Air Force Base where many of its students have parents who are active duty service men and women. St. Mary’s has always been involved with the Arrows to Aerospace and Veteran’s Day parades in Bellevue, as the school is located right outside the back gate of the base.
Upon coming to St. Wenceslaus, Huben incorporated a special celebration to honor Veterans at the school. Through the parish bulletin, school newsletter, and the school’s information system, the news about the Veteran’s Day program spread quickly, and it has since become an annual tradition. Simply titled “Veteran’s Day Celebration,” it’s become an event the school looks forward to. “The staff at St. Wenceslaus and the students are the ones who make this celebration so special,” said Huben.
This year’s event featured over 90 retired and active duty military personnel who were escorted down the red carpet by student hosts during the opening procession. With flags held high and everyone standing at attention, the room was filled with emotion. Once seated, the audience was led in prayer by Rev. Father Tom Bauwens, followed by the Boystown JROTC Color Guard who provided the Presentation of Colors. This year’s guest speaker was Colonel Jeffrey R. Granger, Commander of the 55th Communications Group, 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base. Colonel Granger delivered an emotional and moving speech about the sacrifices made by our Veterans.
“Often we have service men and women share with us that they have never been to a Veteran’s celebration, and how much they appreciate being recognized for their service,” said Huben, who served 20 years as an Air Force Lt. Colonel and was an Electronic Warfare Officer on a B-52 Bomber. “Many men and women break down in tears,” he explained, “they are so emotional about being recognized for the sacrifices they have made to defend our country.”
Principal Huben, the staff and students of St. Wenceslaus School look forward to continuing their tradition of honoring Veterans for their dedicated and selfless service to our country.