Georgetown Honors Student, Alumni Veterans for Service
November 10, 2011 – Georgetown University honored veterans in the university community with a ceremony on Copley Lawn Nov. 9.
“A Day to Honor Our Veterans: A Tradition of Service,” hosted by the Georgetown University Student Veterans of America (GUSVA), Georgetown University Alumni Association and the Hoya Battalion, paid tribute to Georgetown’s students, faculty and staff who have served in the armed forces.
Veterans Day began in 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law proclaiming Nov. 11 to be a day of remembrance for all American veterans. Nov. 11 is also Armistice Day around the world, commemorating the end of World War I.
Sacrifices and Gallantry
“We continue that tradition of honoring the sacrifices and gallantry of our veterans so that their sacrifices and selfless service will forever be recognized and be remembered,” says Colby E. Howard (SFS'12), GUSVA president.
The service included a musical drill performance by the United States Marine Corps’ Drum and Bugle Corps, which played all four U.S. military branches’ official songs: The Army Goes Rolling Along, Anchors Aweigh, The U.S. Air Force Song and The Marines’ Hymn.
The ceremony concluded with the dedication of a new American flag that was presented to Georgetown Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Olson.
With the Hoya Battalion standing at attention during the service, Howard commended those who have served their country.
“The dedication and commitment of those who have served in the past are reflected in the men and women you see standing before you today,” he says. “They personify the energy, selfless service and the resolve that keep our nation free.”
Maintaining and Sustaining Freedom
Guest speaker Brigadier General Kenneth J. Lee (L’07), deputy commander for Aviation, United States Marine Corps, told attendees that Veterans Day today is “about sustaining the way of life that we have.”
“It’s about maintaining and sustaining what we have as freedom,” he said.
Education a Priority
Lee, who coordinated air combat operations in Najaf, Fallujah and the Al Anbar Province in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and graduated from Georgetown with a master of laws in national security law, added that integrating veterans into civilian life and educating them is a priority for the military and government.
Through initiatives like the Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps veterans attend private schools as non-resident out-of-state students, Lee said colleges are opening doors to veterans to allow them achieve success in the civilian world once their military duty ends.
“[Colleges and universities] open their doors to our veterans that will give them the education that they require to succeed in our country and our society,” he says. “Higher education is fantastic and that’s exactly what our veterans require.”