Band of Blackhawks: Field of Honor
Band of Blackhawks: Field of Honor
Posted on 06/25/2018
In Weaverville, North Carolina, it’s hard to miss the North Buncombe High School band’s patriotic Field of Honor.Article/Photograph: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Dept.

In Weaverville, North Carolina, it’s hard to miss the North Buncombe High School band’s patriotic Field of Honor. In a large field just outside of town, the Band of Blackhawks have respectfully placed row upon row of American flags, each decorated with a yellow ribbon to honor or remember a veteran. Community members are invited to sponsor a flag for their friend or loved one, with proceeds allowing the band to accept an invitation to perform in Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

At the field’s entrance to greet visitors were three members of North Buncombe’s community, including rising freshman Heather Moffatt, who joins the marching band from North Buncombe Middle. Moffatt talked about the pride and emotion she has witnessed in her three days volunteering at the field.

“Hearing the stories of the people that visit and how it makes them feel has been humbling and amazing,” she explained. “It’s given me a greater respect for those who fought in World War II.”

The Blackhawks have a history of engaging with history, to help students gain a deeper appreciation of our nation’s roots and sacrifices. It was after successfully performing in Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary of the infamous attack in 2014 that the band was invited to the 2019 Normandy ceremony. They’ll be one of only eight bands representing the United States for this historic gathering, and the Blackhawks will perform alongside - among others - the New York Police Department’s Pipe and Drums ensemble, and bands from Iowa State University, and the University of Texas.

The North Buncombe band is scheduled to depart for France on June 4, 2019. In Normandy, they’ll perform at the American Cemetery at Brittany, Omaha Beach, and the D-Day Memorial Parade. Before returning home, they’ll perform at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.

From June 23 through July 1, 2018, at the Northridge Commons shopping center, Field of Honor visitors will have the opportunity to write names on their selected ribbons and slowly walk among the flags. It’s a chance to remember the past, and invest in the understanding of the next generation.

Moffatt recalled a retired Army ranger who recently visited. As the ranger solemnly looked out on the flags, he said each one caused him to remember a soldier he had served alongside in battle.

“It’s so emotional. It’s so honest. And wonderful,” Moffatt added.

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Follow the NBHS Band on Facebook, and see their Normandy progress on the Band of Blackhawks page.
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