Calling on the public to recognize and respect the sacrifices made for our freedom, a variety of speakers highlighted PSU’s annual Veterans Day ceremony held Wednesday, Nov. 12 at Memorial Rock.
Reverend Preston Fuller of the Campus Ministry noted families of veterans must sacrifice as well those serving in uniform.
“We pray for those who serve, but we also pray for those who stand by our men and women in uniform, the mothers and fathers who sacrifice sleepless nights, the children who wait for long deployments to be over before they once again can see Mommy or Daddy…the wives and husbands, whose marriage vows are put the extreme test by the separation created by military service.”
Air Force veteran Jeremy Hutchinson, who served as a medic in Iraq, recounted treating an eight-year old boy named Ishmed who was severely injured in a suicide bomb attack.
“As we worked to save him, Ishmed clutched a teddy bear with an American flag sewn on it, insisting he carry it with him as he went into surgery,” recalled Hutchinson. “He didn’t know this bear represented the greatest, freest nation on Earth, the very freedom that his country could not give him. Ishmed lived for three days, until the injuries he sustained took his life. Ishmed knew the cost of freedom…I ask you to look through the eyes of Ishmed, and see how fortunate we are to live in America. It’s about duty and honor, and establishing liberty and hope amidst turmoil and terror. Never forget, someone had to sacrifice so we could call this land the home of the free.”
Will Hopkins, a recent PSU graduate and active member of Iraq Veterans against the War, remarked that he had addressed hundreds of veterans at a VFW rally in Manchester, and despite his anti-war stance, he marveled that he could voice his views because of our country’s freedom of speech.
“I can’t help but be humbled by the sacrifices that have been made so that I had that right,” said Hopkins. “War is an ugly thing…anybody that sees war is profoundly touched by it.”
Justin Somers, a former U.S. Marine who fought in Ramadi and Fallujah, reminded the crowd that freedom is earned by people willing to kill our country’s enemies.
“When I see the American flag, I see more than red, white and blue,” Somers said. “I see sacrifice, men and women whose lives are put on hold or ended for a purpose greater than ourselves. Veterans Day for me embodies all that we sacrifice”
The Veterans Day ceremony was fifth such remembrance held on the PSU campus.
For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes