UVM recognizes Veterans Day

 

Starting at 7 a.m., the names of the 6,000 men and women who have been killed in combat since Sept. 11, 2001 were read next to a flag-studded green outside the Bailey/Howe Library.  This marked the beginning of UVM’s third annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 11.

The University was the only school within the state of Vermont to participate in the Remembrance Day National Roll Call, according to the event’s Oct. 28 press release. 

The Veterans Day Ceremony was hosted by the Student Government Association and the Veterans Collaboration Organization (VCO), according to the press release.

There was a moment of silence, planned as campuswide, at 2 p.m. 

Vice President of Enrollment Management Chris Lucier spoke on behalf of the University at the day’s events. Lucier commended the honor given to veterans, but suggested that action in addition to remembrance needs to occur among faculty and students at the University.

“It’s time to have moments of silence to honor service, but many more times to have meaningful dialogue,” Lucier said.

The day culminated in a Veterans Day Commemoration in the Waterman Memorial Lounge.  The commemoration began with the Zest a cappella group singing the national anthem.  

The anthem was followed by readings of letters from Vermont elected officials including Gov. Peter Shumlin, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch. The letters discussed the Vermont National Guard, veterans at the University and their respective service both at home and abroad.

Senior Katie Rifken and junior Laura Weiskotten discussed their work with the Committee on Legislative Action in the SGA to coordinate the event before introducing a video made by UVMtv.

The video featured students and student leaders thanking the veterans at the University, as well as national veterans for their service.  

Rifken and Weiskotten both expressed the large amount of educational value that came out of working with veterans and planning the event.

“This is one of those times when I have learned much more than I could have in a classroom,” Rifken said.

Students also spoke about their relationship to veterans and the military. Graduate student Whitney Dubie spoke about her life in a military family and her father, Michael Dubie, adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard.

Junior Ryan Little also spoke about his experience as a student veteran. Little started UVM 10 days after he got out of the Marines, he said. He spoke to the audience about understanding among faculty and students for the special needs of veteran students.

“I’m humbled by the men and women who have given their lives, and I’m looking for understanding of veterans by students and faculty,” Little said.

Professor of mathematics and statistics Mun Son thanked American veterans for giving him the ability to receive an education and the opportunity to work at UVM.

Son said that American veterans should be proud to follow in the footsteps of who he thought was the greatest veteran in the world, President George Washington.

“‘By the people, for the people,'” Son said. “With this, George Washington changed the world.”

Students also came to support those who participated in the event. Juniors Juliann Sargis and Allyson Goida said they came to show their support for Little as well as the other veterans and students taking part in the event.