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TOOELE — Lots of ceremonies and events took place in Hawaii Saturday, as the nation remembered the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Tooele High School's marching band was among those invited to participate in the commemoration events.
Every year, marching bands from states that had a battleship lost in the 1941 attack are chosen to participate in the Pearl Harbor Parade. Tooele students found out in January they'd be marching in Saturday's parade.
"I'm incredibly excited," saxophonist Dylan Taylor told KSL News before the band left for Hawaii. "I feel like this is such a great opportunity for the band here, and everyone as individuals."
"We're representing the state of Utah, Tooele — Tooele City and Tooele County. It's just a great honor," said Marilyn Syra, Tooele High's band director.
The band has spent months practicing for the honor, even taking their music through the streets of their city.
"We just basically march around the track, or sometimes we go out on the street and will just play through our music and get ready to leave," said Isabelle Johnson, a piccolo player in the band.
This honor didn't come easy, or cheap. Band members worked hard to raise $75,000 to pay for the trip. But they all said it's worth it.
"My grandfather, he's an air pilot; and a lot of my family has veterans in it. I think it's a good deal to represent them and show how much we care about our veterans and how we still remember what happened that day," said Trevor Greenburg, who plays the tuba.
Yes, it's a trip to Hawaii. But these band members know it's so much more.
"We've talked to a lot of veterans during our fundraisers, and we also just have the right mindset to know this is the honor," said drum major Jacey Smart. "And it's not just the fun of going to Hawaii; it's for the Pearl Harbor experience."
The band marched in the parade Saturday, and they planned to spend a couple of days enjoying themselves in Hawaii before returning home on Tuesday.
Contributing: Jordan Ormond