In February 2012, the Hilliard A. Wilbanks Foundation co-sponsored a field trip to visit the Captain Wilbanks’ Memorial at the Cornelia Community House. All eighth graders from the Hilliard A. Wilbanks Middle School attended the memorial tribute. Habersham Central Air Force JROTC presented the colors and special speaker, Colonel Jonathan Myer (Retired), shared Captain Wilbanks’ story and the job of a Forward Air Controller. Colonel Myer served in Vietnam in that same role during the same time period as Captain Wilbanks.
A duplicate of Captain Wilbanks’ Medal of Honor and other medals were entrusted to the principal and placed in the museum for display and education purposes at the school.
All sixth graders from Hilliard A. Wilbanks Middle School were invited to Hilliard A. Wilbanks Day in 2014. Captain Wilbanks’ youngest son, John Hilliard Wilbanks, captured the attention of the students with his keynote address titled, “Do the Hard Thing”. The ceremony ended with the Laying of a Wreath at the memorial outside the Community House
Hilliard A. Wilbanks Day was begun in 2008 by the Joseph Habersham Chapter Sons of the American Revolution. The mayor of Cornelia proclaimed February 24th as Hilliard A. Wilbanks Day.
Starting in 2013, we began a partnership with the University of Georgia to recognize Georgia's Medal of Honor recipients. Our support for this important event takes place as a part of their annual Veterans Day ceremony at the game closest to the national recognition day.
In 2013 we supported the attendance of Colonel Joe Jackson at the game. Colonel traveled from Washington state to the game and was recognized before the crowd. As always, Colonel Jackson was an outstanding representative for our service men and women, and was the "star of the show" at the game. He was greeted by a much deserved standing ovation when recognized on the field.
Colonel Jackson was in active service during World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. He was recognized for his gallantry during the Vietnam War and you can read much more about his heroism by clicking here.
In 2014 we will again help with the program we will sponsor the participation of General James Livingston. General Livingston is one of our Nation's and State's most decorated service members in addition to being a Medal of Honor recipient for gallantry during the Vietnam War. Please read more about General Livingston's background here.
At the end of each school year, the Hilliard A. Wilbanks Foundation recognizes students who receive the Patriot Pride Award with a special gift. This award was conceived after the Hilliard A. Wilbanks Middle School was named for Captain Wilbanks. The students, nominated by their teachers or staff, must exemplify characteristics of courage, sacrifice, and patriotism. It is the school's hope to carry on Captain Wilbanks’ legacy through the lives of these special students.
The interactive book, “America, The Making of a Nation” was chosen to foster patriotism and love of Country. If a student is chosen one year and chosen again in a subsequent year, the Foundation is proud to award United States Flag Windsocks. The Foundation congratulates each student who receives this award.
Copyright 2014 Hilliard A Wilbanks Foundation, Inc.