By Stephanie Barrera |Staff Writer|
CSUSB’s Student Veterans Organization held their annual Veterans Day event on Nov. 8.
It consisted of the presentation of the colors, a 21-gun salute, a moment of silence and an array of guest speakers.
The event was free and open to the public and was held outside in the Lower Commons at midday.
The president of the Students Veterans Organization, Joe Moseley, a senior at CSUSB and a Purple Heart recipient, opened by introducing the flag ceremony.
The Sunburst Youth Academy, which consists of approximately 30 students, conducted the presentation of the colors before the national anthem was sung by CSUSB student Rhonert Pascual.
According to Donnie Hunter, a retired U.S. Army sergeant and the headmaster of the Sunburst Youth Academy, the students in the academy were at-risk youth who were involved in drugs and gangs before they entered the academy.
Once the ceremony began there was an array of speakers ranging from faculty, staff, and local veterans.
The Vice President of Student Affairs, Frank L. Rincon, Ph.D., emphasized in his speech the importance of providing assistance to student veterans on campus. Rincon believes there is a large military presence on campus and for that reason CSUSB should have the right resources to provide all the help needed.
Rincon explained, “California is the home to the nation’s largest population of veterans and as of fall 2011 there are 347 registered veterans at CSUSB.”
Rincon believes that there are many people on campus who are willing to help veterans, and for that reason CSUSB is considered a veteran-friendly campus. He announced that CSUSB President Dr. Albert K. Karnig has recently approved to establish a new veteran’s center on campus. The proposed center will provide help to student-veterans.
There is a task group that consists of 23 staff and faculty members who get together every month to discuss different ways to help student-veterans according to Rincon. This group is currently working on the new veteran’s center that will be established on campus; there is no prospective completion date at this point.
Emphasized the importance of the annual ceremony that is conducted by the Student Veterans Organization, Rincon believes “it’s important for CSUSB to pause for this very special moment and reflect on the heroes who sacrifice their life for our freedom.”
Major Mary Scott who is part of the CSUSB Army ROTC spoke about the history of Veterans Day and reminded the audience about the meaning of the national holiday. She cited the U.S. Center of Military Services when explaining the history of the holiday. Scott said in November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.
This occurred shortly after World War I had officially ended and its purpose was for the nation to pause and pay tribute to the dead and alive who had served. Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in the U.S. after World War II.
Scott explained that the moment of silence is held every Nov. 11 on the eleventh hour for two minutes to remember those who, she believes, have paid the ultimate price in the name of liberty.