A gathering of students and locals assembled by the water feature to pay tribute to our service men and women at the Veterans Day service on Friday, Nov. 10.
“Our gathering is just one small spark of pride that burns across America for Veteran’s Day,” Mike Clawson, retired U.S. Army colonel and director of the Office of Military Outreach, said in his opening speech. “It’s our way we can honor those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in freedom. It is a way to say we remember.”
Five hundred flags were placed by the amphitheater, near the water feature, in the “Field of Honor” by friends and family members as a tribute to veterans.
Following the posting of the colors by the UNCP Army ROTC Color Guard, attendees stood in reverential silence, as UNCP student Taylor Hickey sang the National Anthem.
“We do, at UNC Pembroke, enjoy a proud history of serving and assisting veterans and their family members,” Chancellor Robin Cummings said. “Our proximity to Fort Bragg always reminds us that the opportunity to serve those who have served us and who continue to serve us.”
There are “over one thousand military affiliated students” at UNCP, he said.
After a moment of silence, the sound of “Taps” rang out as William Boyce, a student, played his trumpet in remembrance of the fallen.
Additionally, Clawson elaborated on the many freedoms that soldiers provide the country.
“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech,” Clawson said. “It is the soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.”
“I thought the event was very moving, it’s always moving for me whenever we have an opportunity to recognize and honor our veterans and our military affiliated students,” Chancellor Cummings said. “Col. Clawson always does a fantastic job.”
The Chancellor commended military affiliated students for their hard work and all that they add to the university, such as a sense of “duty, honor and respect.”
He ended his remarks with a final thank you to the university’s military affiliated students.
“Our campus is stronger because of you, our nation is stronger because of you,” Cummings said. “We’re so glad that you are a part of the brave family.”