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Concord Honors Veterans with Week-Long Observance

By Laura Buchanan
On November 7, 2018

The "Plant a Flag, Honor a Veteran" event fills the lawn in front of Marsh Hall with flags dedicated to servicemen and women.
Photo Couresy of Caleb Zopp

Veterans Day occurs Nov. 11 and Concord University is taking measures to honor the veterans among our student body as well as within the community.

The week-long recognition for military service began with “Plant a Flag, Honor a Veteran,” which began on Oct. 29. This is the first year the campus Veterans Association has held this event. One can purchase a small American flag for $1 and plant it in the front lawn of Marsh Hall. The proceeds from the flags go to the Concord Veterans Association.

The flags may be purchased in the Welcome Center of the Student Center, the Veteran’s Lounge at the Rahall Technology Center and in Teresa Frey’s office, located in room 229 of Marsh Hall.

More than a dozen flags fill the front lawn. Some are marked with the names of those who served. It is a way to honor and give thanks for a service man or woman’s time and dedication. Members of the United States military give up precious time with their families so U.S. citizens maintain their freedoms.

Monday, Nov. 5 launched the official week-long schedule of events, which starts with the placing of a wreath at the Veterans Memorial in front of Marsh Hall. The Mercer County Veteran Honor Guard will be present to conduct this brief ceremony. 

Also on that Monday, a Missing Man Table was set up in the Libby Alvis Dining Hall. A different flag representing one of the five branches of service will be posted with the display. The Missing Man Table, sometimes called the Fallen Comrade Table, originally was implemented for Vietnam War POW/MIA but now is used as a ceremonial remembrance.

Thank you cards are available in various locations, such as the campus post office, Veteran’s Lounge and Teresa Frey's office. Those will be delivered to our campus veterans on Monday. They will then be taken to the Princeton War Museum where the cards will be added to care packages that are sent to local men and women currently serving in the military.

During the week, various events will be held. Some will be open to the community and others reserved for Concord’s veterans. These include a lunch provided my Aramark, a community picnic, film viewing, guest speakers and honor services. A list of dates and times can be found on Concord University Veterans Association's Facebook page or by calling (304) 384-5226.

Friday will end the week-long celebration with the National Roll Call. Through a pledge with Eastern Kentucky University, which oversees the National Roll Call, Concord University will display the names of West Virginia's fallen service members. From 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. the names will be continuously scrolling on a screen at the Subway stage in the Student Center.

A Veterans Day Ceremony was also held on Friday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m. in the Wilkes Family Chapel at University Point. This ceremony featured guest speaker George Williams who served in the U.S. Navy during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Williams helped launch the Concord Veteran's Association, which currently serves 40 to 50 veterans and an equal number of veteran dependents.

Several local communities will be holding Veterans Day parades, including Princeton. The parade is to take place on Nov. 12, beginning at 11 a.m. Veterans from different branches and military backgrounds are present for the community to give thanks.

Wrapping up the tribute, is a presentation by Navy veteran, Linda Besenyei, at Marsh Library on Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. Besenyei served in the Navy from 1965 to 1967 and offers a unique view of women serving during this time.

Nov. 11 was set aside as the day that the “war to end all wars” ended with a temporary cessation of hostilities termed armistice. President Woodrow Wilson would declare Nov. 11 as Armistice Day the following year, making it a federal holiday to reflect with solemn pride on “the heroism of those who died in the country's service.”

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed the papers for Nov. 11 to become a day to honor American veterans “of all wars.” The name of the observance day was changed to Veterans Day in order to observe and honor “all veterans.”

This November, show your gratitude to those who have served. Sign a thank you card, plant a flag, or shake the hand of a veteran to let them know you recognize their willing sacrifice.

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