Georgetown community gathers to commemorate Veterans Day

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The Georgetown University Student Veterans Association and Hoya Battalion gathered yesterday on the lawn in front of White Gravenor in order to commemorate Veterans Day, with a ceremony titled “A Day to Honor Our Veterans.”

The event began with the national anthem and a prayer offered by Fr. Richard Curry, S.J., founder of the Academy for Veterans at Georgetown and of the Dog Tag Bakery scheduled to open in February just off Wisconsin Avenue that will employ and train wounded veterans. Zachary Zimmerman (MSB ’14), president of GUSVA, then spoke about his understanding of service as a veteran and student at Georgetown and noted that Georgetown’s history, including its adoption of the colors of blue and gray after the Civil War, linked it with military service.

President John DeGioia spoke on multiple ways Georgetown showed commitment to veterans, observing that a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was installed on Healy Lawn during the October shutdown, and listed pro-veteran initiatives at Georgetown such as the Student Veterans Living Learning Community founded this semester in Alumni Square, and the Veterans Nonprofit Leadership Initiative in the McCourt School of Public Policy, which includes ten scholarships for veterans or those working on behalf of veterans.

The keynote speaker was General Dr. Richard Scales (Ret.) Scales served over 30 years in the Army, retired as a Major General, and is an expert and author on land warfare and president of Colgen, LP, a defense consulting firm.

“We hear a great deal about the trials of our wounded warriors who have been damaged from wars from World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq. … Their [stories’] telling is necessary to a nation that has sought increasingly to believe that all combat veterans are damaged goods,” Scales said. “This is absolutely not true.”

He stated that, instead, the difficult experiences of war made veterans better citizens and people. “Historians and journalists constantly depict war as dehumanizing. They feel that to offer any other opinion would be to glamorize war,” he said. “But we veterans know better. The danger of death wrenches soldiers back to the meaning of life, the brutality of war to the importance of generosity and compassion.”

At the conclusion, Georgetown was presented with a new U.S. flag that was installed following the ceremony.

Photo: Jordan Smith/Georgetown Voice

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