Veterans’ Day honors those who serve with campus-wide events

Miriam Gildea, Staff writer

101 years ago, ‘Armistice Day’ was celebrated to mark the one year anniversary of the end of the Great War.

After congressional approval, Nov. 11 officially became the nationally recognized holiday, Veterans’ Day, in 1938.

In the mundane of our day to day lives, it is all too easy to forget the sacrifice others have made to grant each of us our beloved personal freedoms and liberties. Veterans’ Day is a time to reflect on our American privilege and pay respect to those who have and continue to fight for our collective betterment.

Out of gratitude and honor, Mercyhurst is quite pleased to offer a number of events around campus to acknowledge this holiday and the brave individuals nationwide and within our gates who live out this humility.

From Nov. 9 through the 13, American Flags will be lining Old Main Drive and bugles will be heard periodically throughout each day, each having a unique meaning within a militaristic context. On Nov. 11, Veterans’ Day, festivities will begin with the reveille at 7:45 a.m.

Socially distant and masked, the Hurst community is invited to start the holiday with this ceremonial flag raising. At the end of the day, students are likewise invited to the retreat at 5 p.m., where the flag is taken down. The main event of the day, however, will be the Celebration of Valor.

This annual event will be held at 3:30 p.m. on a YouTube Live platform with Army ROTC professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bentley as the guest speaker.

There will also be a number of passive events, both online and throughout campus, as another way to recognize current and former military service on our campus. Veterans are encouraged to wear their issued “dog tags” as a sign of their pride.

They are also encouraged to submit a video about their military experience. These videos will be shown throughout the week on Mercyhurst’s many social media accounts. Photos and videos will also be displayed on the lobby monitors in the Hammermill Library, Grotto Commons and Ryan Hall throughout the week.

“Veteran’s Day is so important because it is a day to thank all the brave men and women who have served in all branches of our armed forces throughout our country’s history. Veteran’s feel sometimes like their service was thankless and many use this day to reflect on their time served,” said Cadet Mark Peckich.

Veterans’ Day is the perfect time to take a step back and appreciate the efforts of our country’s military. It takes immense sacrifice from not only the veterans themselves, but also their friends and families.

“To me, Veterans’ Day highlights not only my service but the service of all other service members past and present. The military is a small community that shares in values and beliefs. On this day, I get the opportunity to take a step back and appreciate the many experiences I have made throughout my time in service,” said assistant professor of Military Science, Captain Sergio Franco.

No matter the amount of social and political unrest in our country today, Veterans’ Day is the time to lay aside all disputes and focus on the blessings brought to us through those who pledge their lives to grant us ours.

“As Americans, we enjoy an abundance of rights and privileges that people in other parts of the world do not and, in many cases, those freedoms have come from the sacrifices made by our veterans, to whom we owe our deepest gratitude,” said President Michael T. Victor.

Therefore, please join Mercyhurst in celebration and thanks for our committed and generous veterans this holiday.

The 2019 Veterans Day flag raising brought groups of people from throughout campus to recognize the
sacrifices made by those who serve in the military. This year the event will be socially distanced. (Contributed photo)