A History of the
Highland Park Alumni Veteran Memorial Plaque and Documentaries
September 2, 2005
In the late 1990’s, Albert D. Huddleston, a member of the community with children in the school district and whose wife, Mary a HPHS alum, offered to donate a plaque to honor all HPHS alums who had served in American War or Conflict. Mr. Huddleston had been moved by a similar plaque in his High School in Tennessee and was very moved each time he saw the names of students who had gone before him to serve their country and protect our freedom.
A white piece of Grecian Thassos marble was selected to be the backdrop for the plaque. Large pieces of Starphire glass were cut, beveled and prepared to host the names on the plaque. The names were cut out of state of the art vinyl in red for those alums who served in an American War or Conflict and purple for those who died in the line of duty or were killed in action. The motto of the plaque, “We Entered to Learn, We Went Forth to Serve,” was expressed in navy vinyl. As you step away from the plaque you realize it is the image and of the American flag.
The alumni’s names were sorted by Graduation Year and the Branch of Service listed next to his or her name. The plaque was designed to be flexible so that additional names could be added as new names were collected which has been an on-going effort since 2000. The plaque was initially dedicated on November 9, 2000 in honor of all alumni whose names were displayed on the plaque. It has been updated three times since the original dedication.
During the collection of these names, many stories of heroism were shared. The Huddleston’s original idea to honor our HP alums who are veterans by displaying their names on the plaque grew into a new way to also preserve many of their stories and use as a teaching tool in the HP classroom. Over 50 alumni who are veterans of WW II, Korea, the Cold War and Vietnam shared their personal stories. The Huddlestons not only cast the vision for the project and but also generously donated the funds for the production of the documentaries.
In September of 2002 the WW II documentary, “Heroes Among Us” was premiered, followed by the Korean and Cold War documentary, “In Defense of Freedom” in May of 2003 and the Vietnam documentary, “Honoring the Call” in October of that same year. Each film historically documents each war from the soldier’s perspective. They have been shown locally on PBS and are shown annually to students in the Social Studies Department.
Copies of the documentaries are available for sale for $25 in VHS or DVD format at the HPISD Education Foundation offices, 4201 Grassmere Lane. (214/780-3063) Proceeds from the sale of the VHS tapes and DVDs benefit the HPISD Education Foundation.
We appreciate and acknowledge all donations made to the maintenance and the additions to the Veterans Plaque. Please make you donation HERE.