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Radford University observes Veterans Day

Army ROTC Cadets Chris DeMasi, Steven Milazzo, Joseph Stacey and Alexander Polk present the colors during the Veterans Day Ceremony in the Bonnie Auditorium

Army ROTC Cadets Chris DeMasi, Steven Milazzo, Joseph Stacey and Alexander Polk present the colors during the Veterans Day Ceremony in the Bonnie Auditorium

In observance of Veterans Day, the Radford University community gathered to pay respects to the Americans who have served their country in the armed forces.

The ceremony in the Hurlburt Student Center Auditorium on Monday, Nov. 11, acknowledged the sacrifices made by members of the service when they join the military.

The program began with a presentation of the colors, the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, and a moment of silence followed by a presentation of a commemorative wreath in honor of America's veterans.

RU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sam Minner called on those in attendance to remember the citizens who choose to serve and asked them to dedicate time to reflect on the sacrifices of veterans.

Master Sgt. Derek Kitts, senior military instructor for RU Army ROTC, addressed the crowd and reminded them that it is because of veterans that Americans enjoy many of the freedoms we have today.

"Through their courage and sacrifice, they have secured the liberty the Founding Fathers sought to create here in the New World," Kitts said.

The honorary speaker was Lt. Col. Luis A. Ortiz, commanding officer of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Ortiz has served in the U.S. Army since 1988, with deployments in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom.

Ortiz spoke of the lasting commitment members of the armed forces make to the American way of the life and the importance of their coming home to an appreciative country.

"We've come here to thank them for their service, but we know they deserve so much more," Ortiz said. "Our veterans deserve the opportunity to use their strengths and skills. Supporting our soldiers requires a team effort. Let's get out there and work together to make sure our veterans get every opportunity."

The Veterans Day ceremony was sponsored by Greek Life, R-SPaCE, ROTC and the Military Resource Center. In addition to the ceremony, RU Dining Services provided a free lunch to all RU veterans.

Army ROTC Cadet Chris DeMasi leads the presentation of the colors during the Veterans Day Ceremony in the Bonnie Auditorium.

Army ROTC Cadet Chris DeMasi leads the presentation of the colors during the Veterans Day Ceremony in the Bonnie Auditorium

Nov 12, 2013