To honor those who have served our country, members of The University organized a Veterans Day luncheon and presentation Monday in the McIlhenny Ballroom.
Veterans Advocacy Committee member Ray Burd and the Office of Multicultural Affairs organized the event to honor veteran students, faculty and staff.
The luncheon has taken place at The University since 2001. There are 34 staff and faculty members who are veterans at The University. This was the fourth year that Burd has organized the event, and he said this was the first year that the Office of Multicultural Affairs got involved to incorporate more students.
The luncheon took place at 11:45 a.m. and was attended by veterans who served in various conflicts. Once the luncheon concluded, retired United States Army Colonel Mark Volk gave a presentation on his experiences both in and out of active duty. Volk graduated from The University in 1977 and is the president of Lackawanna College. He said Veterans Day is for recognizing those who served this great nation.
“It comes down to just a recognition of who they are. They are brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and they are no different in many respects. Yet, at the same time they did sacrifice,” Volk said.
Volk served in the military for 26 years and held various positions in the Army. He was a senior intelligence officer in the 3rd Infantry Division and served as commander for the 101st Military Intelligence Battalion. He was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest noncombat award, for saving lives while working at the Pentagon on 9/11.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs showed its gratitude toward the veterans by writing personal thank-you cards, which were given out during the luncheon. Sophomore organizer Leeza Tirado said she was glad to give something back to those who served.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to just give thanks back to the veterans. It’s a little bit surprising that some people don’t even know we have veterans on campus, so just to give back is a great opportunity,” Tirado said.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website, an act approved May 13, 1938, made Nov. 11 a legal holiday called “Armistice Day,” which was dedicated to the cause for world peace. After American forces returned from the Korean conflict, Congress pushed to change the name to honor all those who served. Legislation amended the Act of 1938 on June 1, 1954, and changed the name from “Armistice” to “Veterans.” This made it a day to honor all veterans of war.
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