By Amira Van Leeuwen
Clarification- It has been brought to our attention that this story appeared to suggest that the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award given to Michael Tobias came from the city of Kyle. In fact, the award is given by the State of Texas.
KYLE — Patriotism filled the morning air on Sunday during the city of Kyle’s Heroes Memorial Park ribbon cutting as residents, veterans and elected officials came together to honor first responders and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11, 2001.
Attendees joined Boy Scout Troop 812 and Girl Scout Troop 1482 in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Hays CISD High School Honor Choir also sang the National Anthem; and Charles Flores, Hays CISD secondary choir team led in the singing of ‘America the Beautiful.’
Elected officials in attendance were State Senator Donna Campbell, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, State Representative Erin Zwiener, Hays County Commissioners Mark Jones, Lon Shell and Walt Smith as well as the Kyle City Council. American Veterans (AMVETS) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) were also in attendance.
During the ceremony, council member Michael Tobias received the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award. He said he felt “truly honored and humbled” receiving the reward.
“There are other brave men and women who I feel deserve it more, but it is remarkable to be able to get this on the day of 9/11 and our ribbon-cutting ceremony,” Tobias said.
Angelita Tobias, Tobias’ mother, was overcome with emotion when she witnessed her son receive the award – she was filled with pride.
“We instill to our next generation to embrace the community that they live in. To do what it needs to take to move it forward and it’s through love. And as I always tell my sons and my daughters, first we serve God, and then we serve the community. Because the community is our family, I feel that my son, Michael, embraces those features and his love is to God first and then to his community,” Angelita said.
Mayor Travis Mitchell and Mayor Pro Tem Robert Rizo dropped a time capsule at the foot of the flag pole in the middle of Heroes Memorial Park, which includes interviews of local veterans that will be archived and buried in the park. The time capsule will be opened in the year 2101.
Eva McAdams wanted to attend the ribbon cutting to represent her late husband Wendell, who retired from the United States Air Force in 1982. The two were married for 26 years, and Wendell served for 21 years.
“I have a brother who served in the army and also passed,” McAdams said. “I have another brother that also served in the army, and I’ve recently become involved with the VFW. I’m trying to honor him and his memory.”