The University of Dallas, led by Students for Veterans, celebrated Veterans Day on Nov. 11 to honor all who have served in the armed forces.
Students for Veterans sponsored two events: a name reading which lasted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a flag ceremony led by UD’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C) cadets. Students for Veterans vice president, senior Ben Bravo, led the name reading.
“Dead or alive, all veterans need to be remembered,” Bravo said. “The club couldn’t really put on a parade down the Mall for these men and women, but we can make sure that the deceased are recognized and remembered by name, even if it is only by a reader in an empty room.”
At the name reading, students and faculty honored those who have fallen in this century in Iraq or Afghanistan by reciting their ranks, names and branches of service. Freshman Timothy Landers attended the name reading and was inspired by the service of all fallen veterans. Landers’ family has a history of military service.
“I think it is important to pray for the dead, especially those who have given their lives for their country,” Landers said. “My grandfather, who was a veteran of the Second World War, instilled in me a sense of patriotism, and honoring veterans is how I show that patriotism.”
Bravo said the reading continues uninterrupted for a specific reason.
“That the reading lasts without interruption is a testament to the number of service men and women who have died for our liberties in this century alone,” Bravo said. “Since it is a testament, it is incumbent on us to testify to it, to speak it.”
Junior Malcolm Kuemmerlein, president of Students for Veterans, said UD students answered that call.
“We had no shortage of sign-ups for time slots to read the names of veterans who have given their lives for our country,” Kuemmerlein said.
Those names included those of UD alumni.
“A number of students in the undergrad and graduate student bodies are in the National Guard, the R.O.T.C. program, the Reserves, prior service or are a combination of these,” Bravo said. “Most importantly, five UD alumni have died in the course of our country’s last two wars.”
Students for Veterans expressed gratitude to the almost 30 students and faculty who participated in the reading, and to those students, faculty and administrators who stopped by to pay their respects during the reading and closing ceremonies.
Originally, Students for Veterans was composed of only R.O.T.C. students, Kuemmerlein said, but each year more and more students devote time to honor veterans with the support of the faculty.
“The military connection here isn’t perhaps as noticeable as other aspects of the university’s culture, but its presence is significant,” Kuemmerlein said.
UD students, Kuemmerlein said, already show an appropriate level of honor to veterans.
“I think the students in general understand that many of our freedoms, including the protection of free speech and means to study the liberal arts, have been and still are fought for by our servicemen and women and they are more than happy to recognize it,” Kuemmerlein said.
Students for Veterans sponsors events all year.
Earlier this year, Students for Veterans sponsored a series of speakers in conjunction with Career Services.
In the fall semester, three events are sponsored or co-sponsored by Students for Veterans: the Charity Week Jail, Remembrance Day and a unique event in December.
“In December, we pitch in with Student Government and other clubs to host the SG Christmas Party,” Kuemmerlein said. “Our main contribution is a table at which people can write to service men and women with Christmas cards and pens that we provide. We then mail the cards to a distribution center or Veterans Home.”
In the spring semester, Students for Veterans will host the formal Military Charity Ball. They also plan on raising money for a charity that sends the remaining World War II veterans to their memorial in Washington, D.C.