UC honors veterans
The University of Cincinnati's annual Veterans Day Ceremony
salutes the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces
Story by Rachel Richardson (513-556-5219)
Video by Andrew Higley/UC Creative Services; Photos by Jay Yocis/UC Creative Services
Nov. 10, 2016
It’s hard to say which lit up the crisp autumn day more – the sun shining high and bright in an immaculate blue sky against the green backdrop of McMicken Commons, the brilliant red and blue of the Stars and Stripes fluttering against it or the faces of the dozens of people who gathered in the heart of the University of Cincinnati’s campus, beaming with patriotic pride, respect and gratitude.
The university’s Veterans Day Ceremony was mixed with celebratory applause and salutes from the more than 125 area veterans, community members and distinguished guests who joined UC faculty, staff and students Thursday in paying tribute to our nation’s veterans.
UC Interim President Beverly Davenport, who led the event, urged the crowd to remember the sacrifices of the members of the nation’s armed forces and to seek out and learn from those who served.
“Take note of those who have served in the military,” she told the dozens of students gathered. “Reflect on their service and be grateful that we are part of this great nation who honors those who serve us.”
And to the veterans, Davenport, herself the mother of a former U.S. Army ranger, relayed the heartfelt thanks of a grateful campus and nation.
“Thank you for putting our nation first,” she said. “Please know that from the bottom of my heart and all those who came today, we appreciate all that you have done and all that you will do for those who come after you to keep freedom alive and this nation safe from harm.”
The tribute included a musical performance by the UC Bearcat Band, presentation of colors by the ROTC Color Guard, three volleys of rifle fire from the Honor Guard American Legion Post 530 and two buglers stationed in the towers of Tangeman University Center and McMicken Hall playing "Taps."
Ohio Rep. Rick Perales, an Air Force veteran who represents the state’s 73rd district, commended UC on its wide range of services for veteran students, including its sixth year ranking as a Military Friendly School by Victory Media and assistance provided by UC's office of Veteran's Programs & Services with benefits, counseling, academic guidance and career placement and success.
He reminded the crowd that despite turbulent national and global events, Veterans Day is a day when all Americans stand united in purpose.
“You can bank on the fact that we will always have a strong military to protect the liberties, freedoms and democracy we hold so dear,” said Perales. “Most importantly, what makes us different than any other country, you can bank on the fact that we will take care of our veterans. We absolutely will.”
Guest speaker Shirley May, a captain in the U.S. Army, is among those who work to take care of the nation’s veterans. As the women veterans program manager at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, May advocates for services for female veterans and provides leadership to establish, coordinate and integrate accessible high-quality health care services to a wide range of veterans.
“At the Cincinnati VA Medical Center and our eight other locations where our common goal is the mission to treat and comfort those who entrust us with their health, Veterans Day is every day,” May said. “For combat veterans, the battle does not end upon returning home. As a grateful citizen of the republic, it is our duty to help them transition from war to peace.”
May encouraged the crowd to turn remembrance into action by supporting and volunteering for programs and services that support veterans.
“By attending today’s event, you have let it be known that you stand with the men and women of service,” she said. “The glory of America is not measured by the amount of medals on a soldier’s chest, but by the citizens who refuse to turn their back on her heroes.”
5 facts about UC and veterans
- UC is one of fewer than 100 campuses in the nation to offer the VetSuccess on Campus program, which is designed to help veterans transition from the military lifestyle to an academic environment.
- The Office of Veterans Programs & Services on the first floor of University Pavilion also provides job opportunity information tailored to veterans’ needs, including an online "translator" to help show how skills acquired during military service can be applied in the civilian workforce.
- UC has more than 2,400 military-affiliated students, including veterans; those serving on active duty, in the Reserve or the National Guard; and their dependents.
- UC has been named a Military Friendly School by Victory Media, a veteran-owned marketing and publishing company focused on connecting the military and civilian communities.
- In 2014, UC welcomed Omega Delta Sigma-Ohio Beta, the UC branch of the Omega Delta Sigma National Veterans Fraternity. The chapter is UC’s first veterans fraternity and includes men and women.