Veterans Day was born of Armistice Day, which was established in 1938 to honor veterans of World War I. To expand the remembrance to include all veterans, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed in 1954 that Veterans Day would honor all Americans that served in the armed forces.
Cal Poly Pomona has a rich tradition of honoring its student veterans, and has been doing so year after year for quite some time. On Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2010 the Bronco Commons played host to this year’s CPP’s Veterans Day Observance Ceremony.
Not only is this day important for all Americans to remember those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our country’s freedom, but it’s also imperative to honor the surviving Veterans who continue to live amongst us, and who play a major role in our everyday lives.
The Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Douglas R. Freer opened this year’s ceremony with some thoughtful remarks. He emphasized that CPP will continue to honor our country’s Veterans, and will continue to offer programs and services that cater specifically to them. Serving those who have served, CPP stands committed to providing excellent academic programs that assist military personnel and their dependents in meeting their academic objectives, from admission through graduation.
As the program proceeded, Vice President and Provost Dr. Marten L. denBoer noted the important role that student Veterans play in the classroom.
He mentioned how their worldly experience ties into the hands-on learning gained at CPP. He also noted that student Veterans demonstrate strong character, share invaluable perspectives, and value teamwork, as these traits are most beneficial to their academic experience. As the ceremony continued and more stories were shared, one speech was of significant importance, one of CPP’s and ASI’s own student leaders, Jose Sanchez, got up to share his story about his time served in the Armed Forces.
“I came to this country when I was 11 years-old, and I found it to be my duty to serve a country that has accepted me and given me many opportunities,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez’s speech certainly moved the crowd, especially when he referenced that he just recently became a legal U.S. citizen and that he voted for the first time in America at these past Nov. 2 elections. Sanchez said, “When I heard the national anthem sung today, it moved me more than ever before, because I was listening to it as an American Citizen.”
Another one of ASI’s own staff members can also relate to this special day, as he is to, a Veteran who served more than 20 years ago for peace time. “I have had more people today, thank me for my service from 20 years ago. Today’s veterans are combat veterans, and have served and keep serving in combat zones. After that type of experience, they need to know we appreciate their service and offer our support in re-entering civilian life.” said David Quezada, ASI associate director for Facilities and Operations.
The Bronco Commons’ fields and stage were decorated with patriotic American flags, as the soldiers marched onto the stage to retire the colors. The children of the Children’s Center even participated as they passed out mini-flags to all of our Veterans that attended.
Our university President’s Veterans Services Initiative continues to serve our military student population here at CPP, to find out more about this initiative, visit http://www.csupomona.edu/~veterans/.