Klein ISD plans salute to 41st president

Klein ISD students will be doing a special tribute to President George H.W. Bush as his funeral train passes by Klein Oak High School Thursday afternoon.

Klein Oak High School Band was performing Christmas carols for elementary students on Wednesday, but the teens had plans to change their tune the next day in honor of the 41st President.

“We’re all going to perform ‘Hail to the Chief’ which is really cool, and we’re just gonna try to honor him,” said Reina George, a 12th grade flutist.

“I get to do something that a lot of military bands get to do,” said Brock Darling, a 12th grade oboist. “They get to play for the president. In my own way I get to play for the president, so I kind of feel pretty good.”

The students got the word on Tuesday about the historic assignment.

“It was thrown together last minute at a board meeting, and we’re going to learn it tomorrow, and we’re going to play it the best we can, and it’s going to be great,” said Darling.

“Basically my entire high school is going to gather outside the tracks,” said George.

The principal said all 3,800 Klein Oak students will be dismissed from class to view the the funeral train.

The school’s JROTC cadets plan to line the tracks in uniform and salute the train as it passes.

“As soon as the train is coming into view, we’ll put the unit at ‘present arms,’ and then once the train passes by, we’ll stop the salute,” said Asenette Ruiz, the 12th grade AFJROTC cadet colonel.

“It’s awesome to honor somebody like George H.W. Bush, and it’s awesome to remember and also give thanks to somebody so great who’s done so much to this community,” said Abel Martinez, a 12th grade AFJROTC deputy group commander.

In addition to the Klein Oak High School students, Hildebrandt Intermediate, Schultz Elementary and Northampton Elementary in Klein ISD will also dismiss their students so they can watch the history funeral train go by.

School officials say students will stand 25 to 50 feet from the tracks for safety.