Hannah Gabel, Staff Writer
On Thursday, Nov. 9, Cebula Hall opened its doors to host an event of support for students, staff, teachers and community members that have served or are currently serving in the military. 431 currently enrolled students, out of all current Saint Martin’s students, are either active military, veterans, or some other form of military. The event catered to more than just a handful of that population. Upon entering the room, veterans and active service members were greeted with warm applause and greetings from the Veterans Club and committee, before culminating into deep hearted thanks for the service that has been or will be given.
At 11 a.m., service members and supporters gathered next to Cronk Plaza to enjoy a series of speeches and thanks before proceeding to a barbeque. Guests were given a “buddy” poppy, a handmade fabric red flower to wear proudly in their support for the veterans of the Saint Martin’s community.
According to History.com, there are over 21 million veterans in our country today, all coming from diverse backgrounds, having served in separate wars or peacetimes. 16.1 million of those veterans served during at least one war throughout their lives, while another six million have served during peace time. At least two million of our veterans are women. Our veterans come from anywhere, at many different ages, all with vastly different stories and times they served. Yet, one thing stays the same between all of our veterans, the holiday we to celebrate their service.
What started as “Armistice Day” in 1919 shortly after World War I became recognized as a national holiday in 1938. History.com wrote, “Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.” The holiday was renamed to “Veterans Day” in 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the change. This day has been set aside and acknowledged as a national holiday to show appreciation and gratitude for army veterans and the sacrifices they have made to help our country. History.com states that “Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans –living or dead- but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.” Other countries have similar ways to celebrate and commemorate their veterans, including Canada, which celebrates Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday of November. In countries such as Great Britain, it is custom to spend two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every Nov. 11 in honor of those who have served.
Saint Martin’s put together this ceremony to help recognize and welcome veterans and service members of our school, and to pay tribute to them. Throughout our faculty, staff, and students we have a large veteran population. This event is just one way the school gives thanks to our service members for all that they have done. Our country continues to celebrate veterans everywhere in deep thanks and gratitude for their service, sacrifice, and dedication they have given us every year on Veteran’s Day.