UD held a Veterans Day ceremony on The Green on the morning of Nov. 11.

Service, sacrifice honored

University holds ceremony on The Green to mark Veterans Day


2:07 p.m., Nov. 11, 2015--Members of the University of Delaware community paused on Wednesday morning, Nov. 11, to honor the service and sacrifice of members of the U.S. Armed Forces on the hour and the day that officially marked the end of World War I in 1918. 

The ceremony was held in front of Memorial Hall on The Green, where flags were placed earlier in the day to commemorate the service of more the 6,841 Americans killed in service of their country since 9/11.

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Brandon Bristor, a senior criminal justice and sociology major from Fairbury, Nebraska, and president of the Blue Hen Veterans, thanked UD employees and student volunteers from many organizations and fraternities and sororities for attending the ceremony.

A U.S. Navy veteran who served as a military police officer in Bahrain and San Diego, Bristor reflected on the contributions of veterans from past wars and those currently serving at home and abroad. 

“Today we currently live in an era where we have veterans from many different generations, wars and conflicts,” Bristor said. “We all come from different locations and from different walks of life. What we all share is a common bond among uncommon men and women who joined for their own individual reasons.” 

Bristor said that as a veteran, the day is a time to reflect upon his own service, and more importantly, the service of fellow comrades. 

“My favorite part about being a veteran is the lifelong friendships that I have made and will continue to make,” Bristor said. “This morning we have decided to honor the veterans who have sacrificed so much for their own personal beliefs, for their families, and ultimately for our country.”

Bristor also read the names of Delawareans among those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the conflicts following 9/11, including:

Army Warrant Officer Sean W. Mullen, of Dover; Army Sgt. Andrew J. Creighton, of Laurel; Air Force Staff Sgt. Travis L. Griffin, of Dover; Air Force Senior Airman Elizabeth A. Loncki, of New Castle; Army Sgt. Keith E. Fiscus, of Townsend; Air Force Airman 1st Class Carl Jerome Ware Jr.; of Smyrna; and Army Staff Sgt. Darren Harmon, of Newark.

Also honored were the services of Marine Lance Cpl. Richard Z. James, of Seaford; Marine Cpl. Cory L. Palmer, of Seaford; Army Sgt. 1st Class James S. Moudy, of Newark; Army Cpl. Stephen M. McGowan, of Newark; Marine Lance Cpl. Richard C. Clifton, of Milford; and Marine Lance Cpl. Russell P. White, of Dagsboro.

Also honored during the ceremony were Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Garyantes, of Rehoboth; Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony P. Roberts, of Bear; Army Spc. Jarrett B. Thompson, of Dover; Army Spc. Ryan P. Long, of Seaford; and Marine Sgt. Brian McGinnis, of St Georges. 

Former mayor of Newark and UD alumnus Vance Funk recalled the service of his father, who was a doctor in the U.S. Army during World War II, and his own service in Vietnam.

“My dad was inducted into the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1944, and was transferred to various hospitals in the United States and Europe during World War II,” Funk said. “In January 1945, he served with the 89th Division in France. His unit was one of the first to free a concentration camp in Germany. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to see the things they saw there.”

Funk also noted the differences in the way Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned home from service and the respect with which their service is recognized today.

“This is so incredible,” Funk said. “As a Vietnam veteran, nobody appreciated what we had done. Now, we are finally getting the appreciation today.”

University Acting President Nancy Targett said the event was a nice way to honor and recognize the service of alumni who served their country and those who continue to serve.

“I’m really proud that we have so many veterans at the University of Delaware, and I’m proud of their service to our country and our University,” Targett said. “I was out early this morning watching the students and volunteers placing the flags on The Green. It’s a terrific statement for veterans and it’s great to see all the students doing this.” 

Bagpiper Alex Douwes, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, concluded the ceremony by playing Flowers of the Forest.

The Veterans Day ceremony marked the second year that UD formally recognized the event in conjunction with Blue Hen Veterans, a registered student organization.

More than 200 students worked from 6:30-7:30 a.m., Nov. 11, to place the nearly 7,000 flags on The Green. Participating were students from APO service sorority, Active Minds, Army and Air Force ROTC, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and Sigma Kappa sorority.

Veterans Day activities were sponsored by Blue Hen Veterans, the University’s Division of Student Life, the Career Services Center, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Vice Provost for Diversity. 

Article by Jerry Rhodes

Photos by Evan Krape

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