Mercyhrust honors our veterans

Lilly English, Contributing writer

Nov. 11 was Veterans Day in the United States. Mercyhurst always puts out American flags lining the flagpost when you first enter the gates, but there were a number of different events on campus. As someone who is in ROTC and will be going into the military in some way in the future, I have always found it important to celebrate Veterans Day. To start off the day there was the raising of the flag, or the Reveille, ceremony at 7:45 a.m. The weather was not great, so there was not as big of a turnout as there has been in the past. The lowering of the flag, or Retreat, scheduled in the afternoon was ultimately canceled due to inclement weather. At 3 p.m., a local band called “Music for Veterans” began playing patriotic songs leading up to the Celebration of Valor ceremony at 3:30 p.m. The speaker at this event was Jim Hertner. His speech was dedicated to women veterans who have all served in the past and present from all different branches. Hertner had all the current female ROTC cadets speak about recent female ROTC Mercyhurst graduates. In their speeches they talked about what they are currently doing in the army and how they believe doing ROTC and being a woman in the military helped shape them into the people they are today. I had the honor of talking about Jacqueline Ward. Ward is the first female to commission as an infantry officer from Mercyhurst University. She is also only the 69th female to complete Ranger School, which is one of the toughest training courses a soldier can volunteer to complete. During her first try, she failed to even qualify for consideration for Ranger School, but she never gave up. She was determined and went back and conquered Ranger School. As a woman going into the Army, learning more about female veterans was very inspirational since women were not always allowed to serve in the military. If you have a family member or know someone who has or is still serving, be sure to wish them a happy belated Veterans Day as their service should always be honored.