Texas A&M Honors Campus Veterans
Texas A&M University felt a strong sense of patriotism all across campus during Veterans Day 2011 festivities. Texas A&M was formerly a military school, so it comes as no surprise that over 600 veterans are currently attending the University; with many more Cadets who will soon commission into the Army, Navy or Marines.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) spoke at Texas A&M University’s George Bush Library days before Veterans Day. “As our nation prepares to salute and honor all of the men and women whom have served in our military on Veterans Day, it seems fitting to be here at A&M.”
Cantor went on to say, “Veterans Day, after all, used to be called ‘Armistice Day’ and commemorated the end of World War I—a war in which so many Texas A&M graduates of this college were in military service, more than any other in America.”
Veterans Day at A&M is a week full of events for both students and the community. A&M Campus Organization Class Councils hosts 11-11 Day, which gives students several opportunities to give back to A&M veterans and troops currently serving our nation. Beginning on Nov. 9, students could stop by various locations around campus to sign postcards for troops currently serving overseas. Veterans Day or 11-11 Day shirts were also sold throughout the week to benefit a unique cause called the Aggie Rings for Veterans Fund. This fund provides students, once they have completed their course requirements, an Aggie Ring.
Nov. 11 was full of events on different areas of campus. At the 11-11 Day tables, postcards were being signed all day at ‘the quad,’ the Corp of Cadets area of campus. 11-11 day shirts were sold and veterans could stop by for a slice of cake. Students were coming in flocks when classes let out and were eager to participate. Facebook played a major role in getting the word out to the student body who gave a great showing at the week’s events. One thousand cards were made and signed to send overseas.
“This reminds me of kids my age who are risking their lives, how I want to join and I want to follow in their footsteps and it reminds me of everyone who has gone and served,” said a freshman Corp Member after he signed his card.
“We are a military campus, we have a huge ROTC and we do all we can to honor our veterans,” said freshman Cari Klosterman.
The Corp of Cadet members were dressed in their “Midnights,” their special uniforms, and they could be seen on different areas of campus participating in commemorative activities. Starting at 8 in the morning on ‘the military walk’ running through campus, 6,313 names began to be called for those who have died in the War on Terror. Students stopped on their way to class and took a moment to reflect before continuing with their activities.
At 11 a.m., the Flag was raised by the Corp of Cadets, followed by a prayer and a wreath laying on ‘the quad’ at the memorial. The memorial lists all of the names for all of the A&M students who have fallen in every war since World War II.
As the university clock tolled one in the afternoon everyone on ‘military walk’ stopped for a moment of silence. This was followed by a 21-gun salute, and the list of names continued to be read until 5:30 in the evening.
“Veterans Day has always had a special place in my heart, growing up in Ft. Hood, I had so many friends whose parents are in the military and overseas,” Carranza said with tears in her eyes. “I have really seen what a sacrifice the soldiers make. That has been very special for me and seeing troops return home.”