Arkansas Tech University honored those who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. armed forces with a Veterans Day ceremony at the Tucker Coliseum flag pole on Monday, Nov. 11.
The ATU U.S. Army ROTC color guard participated in a ceremonial raising of the U.S. flag. Those in attendance recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and ATU student Jason Velazquez stepped forward to share his thoughts about Veterans Day.
“Veterans Day is not a day that belongs to veterans, but rather it is a day to honor all veterans,” said Velazquez. “Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served. For one day, we stand united in respect for you, our veterans.”
A senior from Dardanelle, Velazquez is on pace to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in recreation and parks administration in 2021.
He is also a veteran, having served on the Horn of Africa under Task Force Warriors. Velazquez is a sergeant in the Arkansas National Guard.
“As I reflect, just having this one day a year of honor and remembrance for all those who have served seems very in adequate in comparison,” said Velazquez. “For many though, the appreciation, honor, respect and admiration for the men and women who have and who are serving is much more consistent, for some this is a daily part of their life. Using today, Veterans Day, gives us a chance to outwardly show how we feel to our service members. As a service member, I am thankful that you have taken the time to be here to celebrate all who have served.
“As we leave here today, I challenge us all to seek out those in our lives who have served or are serving and make a special effort to give them a heartfelt thanks,” continued Velazquez. ‘Maybe it is text, a phone call, a social media post or shake their hand when you see them on campus. Whichever you choose, I can tell from personal experience – it is appreciated.”
ATU’s 2019 Veterans Day ceremony was hosted by the ATU Department of Campus Life and the ATU Office of Veteran Services.
Visit www.atu.edu/veterans to learn more about the ATU Office of Veteran Services.