When Veterans Day happens at UVM

Last Tuesday was Veterans Day, though most students on campus did not realize it.Maybe they were like me. To me, Veterans Day is a day when we put our lives and work aside to reflect and honor those who have given so much to our country.Well not at UVM it isn’t. UVM does not give students and faculty the day off for Veterans Day, and I believe that that is not right.It undermines all that our veterans have sacrificed. It sends the message that we are too busy to care.We are at war, at a time when our young veterans need our support more than ever. Young men are coming home to face post-traumatic stress, debilitating brain injuries, homelessness and broken families.Veterans facing depression complain that they feel like nobody cares about them. UVM’s apathy all but screams, “You’re right, we are too busy to care.”Is chemistry class so important that I couldn’t miss just one day to honor someone who risked his life for me?If you have a relative who is a veteran that you wanted to visit, or if you wanted to go to a memorial, you had to miss class. That is not right.Despite all of the ribbon bumper stickers, US soldiers returning from war are not getting the attention that they need and deserve.And by not observing Veterans Day, UVM is contributing to a growing neglect for our troops. At Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. , soldiers wounded both psychologically and physically are not greeted with respect and offered support for their transition back into society.They come home instead to overcrowded and understaffed facilities and the daunting task of cutting through the mound of bureaucratic red tape to receive their benefits.But worst of all, many soldiers have complained about feeling a lack of respect. Disrespect like UVM continuing classes like nothing’s amiss.Are we just trying to pretend like it’s not real? Society is already disconnected from the war, combat and veterans. And UVM isn’t taking the time to try to reconnect.War is real. The least we can do is show some respect.