– Top brass, future top brass, university officials, and students gathered at Western New England University’s Sleith Hall here Friday to honor the service of U.S. veterans, while highlighting the service of university employees, during a Veteran’s Day ceremony.
The university’s Minuteman Battalion ROTC program hosted the event, which featured a key note address by Massachusetts Army National Guard Land Component Commander, Brig. Gen. Paul G. Smith.
“Veterans make up just one-percent of our population,” said Smith, as he addressed the ROTC cadets as well as the numerous students and university employees in attendance. “They are our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends, and neighbors.”
“This is our day to pause, to reflect, and to give thanks to each and every (service member),” said Western New England University Vice President for Marketing and External Affairs, Barbara Moffat. “A simple thank you seems inadequate considering the enormity of their sacrifices – from time away from loved ones, to physical and emotional wounds suffered, and in many cases having paid the highest price of all – giving their lives.”
Veterans Day is celebrated every November 11 to honor military veterans. The date coincides with other holidays, such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated around the globe to mark the end of World War I.
“Not only have our veterans earned our Freedom with their sweat, purchased our liberty with their hardships, and bought our security with their constant vigilance, they have carried on a valiant American military tradition. They have been receivers of a legacy of valor that was born here in Massachusetts on the Lexington Common and the Concord Bridge. That legacy was carried onto the battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, picked up from the mud of the trenches in France, borne on weary shoulders through the snow and fog of the Battle of the Bulge. Wherever American warriors fought, that tradition was burnished by the fire of battle and made brighter, tougher, and stronger. Today, that tradition lives on in the young warriors that serve in our nation’s armed services.”