The University of Maine spent the previous week celebrating veterans and the sacrifices that they have made to ensure the freedom and safety of the citizens of the country. The celebrations began on Nov. 6, a rainy Monday morning with an American and Prison of War (POW) flag raising by Army and Navy ROTC.
“Let us all take a moment of silence for our prisoners of war and those we have lost in combat,” Robert Dana, the dean of students and vice president for student life, said. “The solemnity is matched by the weather, but this is also a time to celebrate those who have served in our armed forces.”
Veteran’s Day was first celebrated on Nov. 11, 1938 to honor the end of World War I. The day is to not only remember the historical significance of the war, but to honor American veterans for their sacrifice, bravery, patriotism and love for their country.
“The notion of justice is something our military is on the front line for,” Dana began. “As a society, we are losing our history. The University of Maine is trying to bring back the importance of our history.”
Following the raising of the flag, the Veteran’s Center on campus held a barbeque in their office for veterans. In attendance were veterans of all ages and different backgrounds who gathered to be recognized and celebrate one another.
“For me, Veteran’s Day is for remembering those in the line of duty, especially the older population who served in World War II and Korea,” Gary Gallaher, a communications and leadership studies student at the University of Maine, said. “I have served in the Maine Army/National Guard for four years next month. I like to refer to the popular quote, ‘all gave some and some gave all.’”
The celebrations continued throughout the week. Seen around campus were various posters thanking veterans for their service. Other events held throughout the week included presentations and free meals for veterans, and on Saturday, various restaurants in and around the Orono area offered free meals to veterans.
To end the week of celebrations, veterans were invited to attend the University of Maine versus University of Massachusetts Amherst football game that was held at Fenway Park in Boston. Discounted tickets were offered to those active duty military and veterans. There was also a 3K Purple Heart Run that started in Brewer, Maine and ended in downtown Bangor on Nov. 11 where donations were accepted to raise money for veterans.
Veteran’s Day was celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 11, and classes were not held on Friday, Nov. 10 at the University of Maine, as it served as the observed day.