Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans, families

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter

Eastern’s Veterans Day ceremony will honor not only veterans, but also those who support them at 10:30 a.m. on Friday in Old Main’s Cougill Foyer.

Jennifer Sipes, the special assistant to the vice president for student affairs, said the ceremony is a part of Eastern’s history.

“It’s a very long-standing tradition,” Sipes said.

Student veteran Adam Griffy, a student who has served three deployments in Iraq, said Veterans Day holds an individual meaning to each veteran.

“Veterans view Veterans Day differently. Some vets … really embrace the day, and then some guys (think,) ‘Eh, it’s Veterans Day, but to me it’s Friday,’” Griffy said.

Paul Higgerson, a graduate student and veteran, said Veterans Day is as much about the people who support veterans as it is about honoring the veterans themselves.

“I think it’s important to recognize not only the sacrifice they made, but also everyone connected to them,” Higgerson said.

The ceremony will be about 30 minutes long and include a speech from Griffy, Eastern President David Glassman, the Unity Gospel Choir and refreshments, that will be served after the ceremony.

Griffy said he wants to address his appreciation not only to those he served with, but also to those who supported him and his fellow veterans throughout their lives.

“I think that veterans should be humble,” Griffy said. “I think one thing I will want to address is basically more or less a thank you to everyone for their support, because yeah, we’re vets, (but) honestly without the support of families, friends, professors and everybody else that’s involved with our lives, we couldn’t live.”

Community veterans and leaders have been invited to the ceremony, as well as a local third-grade class.

Joseph Winkler, a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadet, will be the master of ceremonies at Friday’s event.

The ceremony will include members of the ROTC, Association of Campus Ministers, the Unity Gospel Choir, a staff veteran representative, Student Veterans of Eastern and another student veteran playing taps.

“To me, it’s a time where I can reflect on my military service. I can actually spend some time, I think about it all the time anyway, but more so on (Veterans day),” Griffy said. “It gives Americans a day to come together … and share a bond together. It also gives veterans an excuse to reach out to each other if they haven’t seen each other in a long time.”

Higgerson said the ceremony will allow students to show their support for current and future veterans, giving veterans the chance to show their support right back.

“From beginning to end I think (the ceremony) is important, enjoyable, and, while it may sound trite, moving,” Higgerson said.


Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].