By Victoria Lavelle
On Nov. 7, Delaware County Community College paid tribute to all veterans at the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial.
This year’s memorial marked the second annual wreath-laying ceremony on campus.
The Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony has become a tradition for the college to reflect and memorialize those veterans who are no longer living and to recognize students, faculty and staff that have served or currently serve in the armed forces.
The college’s tribute was launched two years ago and is now set to take place annually on the Thursday before Veterans Day at the Marple campus.
Dr. Darren Lipscomb , director of Outreach, Recruitment, and Enrollment Services, welcomed guests and participants to the service.
“This Veterans Day, we extend our gratitude and appreciation to all veterans for their sacrifice,” Lipscomb said. “May God bless our military and their families – our citizens – and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”
The Vietnam War Veterans Memorial is located at DCCC’s Marple campus along the walkway between Founders Hall and the Advanced Technology Center.
The crowd consisted of college students, staff members and veterans who gathered around the memorial site, which was adorned with American flags and red, white and blue flowers to mark the occasion.
DCCC President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black was in attendance, surrounded by a host of veterans from across the Delaware Valley.
With overcast skies and a brisk autumn chill in the air, the police academy cadets marched to the memorial under the leadership of William Davis, director of the Municipal Police Academy at DCCC.
Davis explained why it has become a new tradition for DCCC’s police cadets to participate in the Veterans Day tribute.
“The police and the military have had a longstanding relationship, as some of the academy cadets come from all branches of the military,” Davis explained. “We are proud to recognize the contributions of our academy’s students, to extend our gratitude to those who still actively serve, and to honor the veterans who have previously served in the United States Armed Forces.”
After the memorial service, the sun peaked through the cloudy skies and the temperatures began to warm. Abby Barnes, a theater major, stopped by the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial to extend her gratitude to the fallen heroes and to pray for those who still defend America.
“I felt compelled to show my appreciation to all those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms,” Barnes explained. “It’s important for us to never forget those who sacrifice everything and to also be thankful to those who are willing to risk their lives for our liberties in America.”
In the years ahead, DCCC will continue to honor the nation’s veterans whose hard work and sacrifice allow Americans to enjoy the many freedoms and liberties of living in a free country on the Thursday before Veterans Day each year.
Photos by Victoria Lavelle
History of Veterans Day
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War I ended, and the date became known as Armistice Day to celebrate world peace, according to The History Channel.
In America, Veterans Day is celebrated annually with waving flags and parades, with salutes to those who served and prayers for those who sacrificed their lives on Nov. 11.
The day is when Americans pause to remember the brave men and women in uniform who have risked their lives for the nation.
By the end of World War II, veteran Raymond Weeks organized a celebration that included a parade and festivities which paid tribute to all veterans. Though the festivities were held on Armistice Day, it was called “National Veterans Day.”
The event sparked annual observances across the nation as a day to commemorate all veterans, rather than a day originally marked as the official end of World War I.
Representative Edwin K. Rees of Kansas proposed officially changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day to recognize and honor those who have served in all wars.
In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming Nov. 11 as Veteran’s Day, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
In 1968, Congress moved the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October.
By 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a new law returning the observation of Veterans Day back to Nov. 11 that started in 1978.
Many Americans misspell the holiday as “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day,” according to the U.S. Department of Defense. However, because the holiday does not belong to one veteran or several veterans, no apostrophe is required. It’s a day marked to remember all veterans, both living and deceased.
Contact Victoria Lavelle at email@example.com