Penn State’s Student Veteran Organization Holds Veterans Day Ceremony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — To celebrate Veterans Day on Monday, members of Penn State’s Student Veteran Organization held their annual Veterans Day ceremony at Old Main. This year’s event marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the document that officially ended World War I.
Kyle Larson, the president of Penn State’s Student Veteran Organization, served as the host for the ceremony, which included a convocation, the posting of colors, a 21-gun salute and a moving speech.
“[The event] brings veterans together at a common meeting place, allows them to socialize, as you can see a lot of old...friends are being brought back together,” Larson said. “It’s about having that social support group within each other.”
The event also made an impact to the non-military members that were there as well.
“It means a lot to me,” Larson said. “I see students walking by all the time that end up stopping for the ceremony, and it shows that people do care. You get to meet other people here that you might not have ever met.”
Justin Rose, a retired U.S. Army captain who never actually attended Penn State, started off his speech with a “We Are” chant and a few jokes about Penn State football and the PGA tour. His speech then turned into a touching recount of the story of Mike Murphy, a Penn State graduate who led a mission against the Taliban in 2005. Murphy’s courage and commitment to service were apparent throughout the entire story, as he risked his own life to save others in that combat mission.
The theme of the day was commitment to service. Howard Rupert, a Vietnam War veteran, was moved to tears when he talked about his experiences in Vietnam.
“It means everything to me,” Rupert said. “The only thing that’s sad to me is the friends I lost while I was there. But I would do it all over again if I was asked for my commitment to service.”
Josh Portney is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.