Tooele teen surprised by marching band after missing Pearl Harbor parade

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TOOELE — A Utah teen was surprised by his marching band mates after he missed marching with them in the Pearl Harbor Day parade.

Playing in the Pearl Harbor Day parade was an honor teenager Jacob Williams looked forward to for months, but instead he spent the weekend in Hawaii in a hospital bed.

The Buffalos from Tooele High School were handpicked to play in the parade on the island of Oahu in Waikiki. They spend more than a year fundraising and practicing for the event.

But on the day of the event, Jacob was not marching with his band.

"I had an asthma attack," Jacob said. "And apparently I had the flu too."

He was admitted to the hospital where he spent the next five days. He missed the parade, the ceremony and sightseeing with his team.

"He was in our thoughts and in our prayers every minute of every day. We talked about him, we prayed for him and his family," said bandleader Marilyn Syra.

Jacob's mom made the trip to Hawaii to be with her son in the in the hospital, and they got to do some sightseeing after Jacob recovered and after his team had gone home.

"We went to Pearl Harbor and just traveled around the island, and it was awesome," Jacob said.

But Jacob's trip may have come after he got home and his marching band showed up in his front yard.

"We're just glad that he's back," Syra said. "He didn't have a chance to do everything with the band, so we wanted to bring a little bit of it to him."

Not only did the band surprise him with this street performance, they also did a little extra fund raising to help Jacob and his family cover the added travel expenses for Jacob's hospital stay.

"We bought this little coconut bank and everybody put their spare change into it. It filled up really fast so we had to go buy another one," Syra told Jacob after the band performed.

Jacob is back to full health and he said he's glad to be home.

"It just makes you feel awesome, like I'm part of a real thing," Jacob said. "They're my family and not just a group of friends. They are my family, and I love them for it."


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Keira Farrimond


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