Veteran’s Day Celebration

November 20th, 2015 Posted in Fulton Campus News
The Fulton Campus held a solemn and touching Veteran’s Day Ceremony on Monday, November 9th that was attended by Alumni, students and staff of the College as well as local community leaders and more importantly, veterans.

Associate Vice President John Lamphere ’74 welcomed the group and had the VFW Post 569 post the colors with an invocation provided by Father Moritz Fuchs, whose service to nation included being a personal aide to Justice Robert Jackson during the Nuremberg Trial’s that started 70 years ago this Fall to prosecute Nazi war crimes at the end of World War II.

Cayuga’s new President, Dr. Brian Durant, reiterated the College’s commitment to our veterans “Cayuga Community College – the faculty, staff, and members of the Veterans’ Club – is committed to working with veterans and active members of the military on the application and enrollment processes, accessing GI benefits as well as other financial aid options, and to providing additional programs and services specifically designed to ease their transition back into civilian life. We hope that more veterans choose Cayuga Community College. We look forward to helping them achieve their goals and continue to contribute to our communities as they have done for the nation.”

Jo Ann Harris’95, Advisor to the Veterans Club spoke of the “Fallen Soldier’s Table” that was set up on the stage near the speakers. One of the most poignant moments of the 45 minute ceremony was her reading of a piece describing the table:

A small table, set for one, is in a place of honor. This table is our way of acknowledging the members of our proud profession of arms who are missing from our midst. They are those Killed in Action, Prisoners of War, and those that are listed as Missing in Action.

The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.

The single red rose is displayed in a vase and is reminiscent of a soldiers loved ones, friends, and fellow troops left behind.

The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase, is a reminder of the blood they shed protecting the liberty so loved by our country.

A slice of lemon is on the plate, to remind us of their bitter fate.

The plate, covered in salt, is symbolic of their families’ tears.

The glass is inverted; they cannot toast with us this night.

The candle reminds us of the light of hope which lives in one’s heart to light the way home from their captors to the open arms of a grateful nation.

The chair is empty; they are not here.

Let us remember, and never forget.

Reading her paper “His Name is George,” Mary “Josie” Smith read a very emotional piece she wrote as a student at the College about her husband, a Vietnam Veteran. George Sanford Smith, Jr suffered a massive bleed in his brain that took his self-awareness and left him partially paralyzed and in a nursing home where he seemed to have become just a number to the staff there. Mrs. Smith read how George Smith was not a number in a hospital ward, but her husband, a father, a friend and a hero. He served, along with many other American heroes in Vietnam, as a platoon sergeant and sniper. She explained how while he is a shadow of who he once was, it will never change who he will always be to those who love him. He made a difference in the world – too much of a difference to have his name replaced by a number. Mrs. Smith expresses that George Smith is an American hero; one of a generation of heroes that our country has.

Other guest speakers included Jennifer Allen, winner of the Fulton Campus Veteran’s Day Poem contest and Jerimy Blowers ’93, Coordinator of Wellness and Interventions Services, who discussed his research into the life and service of an uncle who he was named after, who died during the Second World War.

On Veteran’s Day, a Flag Raising Ceremony was held with special guests, the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Truxtun DDG-103 Division. A crowd of about 70 participants were in attendance for the event which included the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.

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