His voice slightly trembling, 58 year-old P.J. Audley stood by PSU’s Memorial Rock, quietly reading the names of his Army comrades, including some that never came home from Viet Nam. Audley, a Bow, N.H. native and Viet Nam veteran, is an English major at PSU who took the time to attend the PSU’s Veterans Day commemoration Nov. 8.
“These guys deserve to be remembered, the majority of them are deceased, it’s just an opportunity for me to give a little back to those who helped me; I won’t forget them,” Audley said.
30 years ago in Viet Nam, Audley forged lifelong friendships, saying the memories are still strong and he wanted to honor those bonds on a day the nation stops to pay respects to those who served our country.
The small gathering of faculty, staff and students stood in the light rain for a somber and reflective noontime ceremony, reciting prayers and sharing memories of the sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans.
Audley wasn’t alone with his sentiments. James Mazzuchelli is a veteran of the Iraq War and a senior majoring in Social Work who works at PSU’s Veterans Service Center. “Regardless of age or service, each veteran deserves recognition and gratitude, Mazzuchelli said. “ It shouldn’t be just one day in November that veterans get recognized. Be sure to thank a veteran and ask him or her about their service; they will be grateful for this simple gesture.” p>
Preston Fuller of the United Campus Ministry also emphasized the need to remember veterans each day, rather than one day in November. “Support for our veterans is not purchased, it is lived,” said Fuller. “It is not a slogan on your car going 75 miles an hour down the highway, rather, it is a lifelong and day to day commitment written on the hearts of flesh and blood.”
The ceremony was PSU’s fourth annual Veterans Day event. It was organized by Kathy Tardif, Minister, Campus Catholic Ministry, Preston Fuller of the United Campus Ministry and James Mazzuchelli of the PSU Veterans Service Center.
For more information, contact Bruce Lyndes, Media Relations, Mgr.