Killeen Daily Herald
Members of the military and first responders were honored Friday during the Killeen Independent School District’s sixth annual “Freedom Walk” at Leo Buckley Stadium.
“There are many scars that are left,” district Superintendent Robert Muller said. “We are here to walk in honor of those we have lost.”
Muller addressed a crowd that included representatives of the police and fire departments of Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville and Fort Hood during the event held in memory of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Members from the district’s adopted military units, the Warrior Transition Brigade and the Gold Star Families also attended the walk as distinguished guests.
The event’s special guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commander, thanked those in attendance and asked the community to continue to support the troops and first responders.
“Regardless of how you choose to serve, serve,” DiSalvo told the audience.
After an invocation and a performance of the national anthem by the Harker Heights High School choir, the group began their memorial walk. Participants started at the Killeen High School Gym and continued to the stadium, where they circled the track once.
Killeen High School JROTC Cadet Jaeka Gutierrez rang a bell 11 times in memory of the attacks.
Staff Sgt. Muzette Biggers, Warrior Transition Brigade, said it was her third year participating in the walk. “When (the attacks) first happened, I remember being stunned and wishing I could help the people who were injured,” Biggers said. “Events like this raise awareness, and they show how people came together to overcome what happened.”
Maj. Kevin Badger, III Corps, agreed with Biggers.
“It was a seminal moment in our history as a country, and it’s something we are still reminded of every day,” he said. “We need to remember that we still need to stay together and fight together.”
Badger’s daughter Peyton, who is a fourth-grade student at Mountain View Elementary School, was the honorary flag carrier for this year’s walk. She was born 10 years ago on Sept. 11.
“Kids my age should learn and remember what happened,” she said. “We should honor the people who fight for us, and praise them.”