“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”
— Patrick Henry
For more than sixty years, November 11 has been a day to honor American women and men who have bravely fought to protect the freedoms and ideals we hold so dear. Originally known as Armistice Day, commemorating a temporary cessation of hostilities during World War I, Veterans Day was officially signed into legislation on June 1, 1954, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Citizens of Great Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate veterans during November. In the United States, a ceremony is held each Veterans Day to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. And here at Valparaiso University, we have hosted events across campus throughout the week to offer support for veterans on campus and in the community, as well as their families.
During this month in which we give thanks for the many ways our lives have been blessed, we express our gratitude to all veterans who call Valpo home.
To our veterans: Thank you, for all you’ve done to ensure the safety and freedom that all of us on campus and across the country enjoy.
To all students, faculty, and staff: I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the great sacrifices our military personnel and their families have made. Share your support and encouragement with those who are preparing to serve upon graduation through the ROTC program. Reach out to our veteran students, faculty, and staff who have returned home from service and tell them how much their service means to you.
Today and every day, we are indebted to the service and sacrifice of our veterans who protect and defend the freedoms we deeply cherish. Let us remind them that their vigilance, their action, and their bravery have not been in vain.
With sincere gratitude,
Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.