“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid, they have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
— Harry S. Truman
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Our nation observes Veterans Day to recognize and celebrate the women and men who have so honorably defended our nation and protected our freedoms and liberties. This annual day of remembrance originated as Armistice Day, to commemorate the armistice signed at Compiègne France on Nov. 11, 1918, for the cessation of hostilities during World War I. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954 that officially renamed this day Veterans Day.
Great Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also dedicate one day annually, on or near November 11, to honor veterans. In the United States, one way in which we mark the national observance of this day is through a wreath-laying ceremony performed at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. At Valparaiso University, we host events throughout the week to pay tribute to those who have served and sacrificed for our country and to offer support to our country’s military service women and men as well as their families.
Veterans hold a very special place in our nation’s history as well as the history of our University. Our connection with those who have served is of utmost importance. Throughout the years, veterans have studied, taught, and worked across this campus, sharing their unique perspectives, contributing to our diversity, and strengthening our community. We are resolute in our commitment to serve those who have made our world a better place and are extremely honored to be included on Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools list for 2017.
On this day we are reminded of the debt we owe to our veterans for their service, bravery, selflessness, and sacrifice in defending our nation and upholding our values. Let us continue to support and honor these true heroes who have given everything for our freedoms, not only on this day, but throughout the year.
To all students, faculty, and staff, I sincerely hope you will take some time this weekend to remember and acknowledge all our veterans who have put their lives on the line in service to us and this great nation. Embrace this opportunity to reach out to those who have served and let them know their bravery and service is appreciated and will never be forgotten.
To our veterans, past and present, we are eternally grateful for your sacrifices, for your willingness to place yourself in harm’s way to protect each one of us — on campus, in the community, and across the country. Thank you and may God bless you.
With sincere gratitude,
Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.