Panama City Beach - Arnold High School's Blue Thunder marching band has been awarded quite an honor. The band will be heading to New York in November to March in the Veteran's Day parade commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The parade will be broadcast nationwide.
Students were thrilled when they got the news. "I was so ecstatic, I was so excited that the band will get to march in such a great parade and be able to honor the country in such a great way," said Max Herman, the drum major. "It makes me feel very prideful to be a part of this country and I am exctied to go and remember 9/11 with everyone else in America," said Hallie Dodds, a senior.
While it's once in a lifetime opportunity for these students, it does come with a large pricetag. The boosters are working to keep the trip to $900 per student. Even though that is a reasonable price for a 5 day trip to New York, many students simply can't afford it. They are hoping the community will step in and help. Band members are selling coupon books and cookie dough to raise money. Several restaurants are also supporting the band through profit sharing.
"It is a great honor for our band to head to New York and play in the Veteran's Day parade for New York City that commemorates the September 11th event that happened 10 years ago," said Principal Keith Bland. "A lot of them will never have this chance again, so they are going to do this once in a lifetime thing they will never forget," said Jason Bennett, the band's director.