On Monday, Nov. 11, Indiana State University held their Veterans Day Program at 11 a.m. in Dede I. This annual event was planned by the Center of Community Engagement and the Air Force ROTC.

The event was hosted to remember all the men and women who put their lives at risk as a way to serve our country.

Captain John M. Pedro II of the United States Air Force spoke at the Veterans Day Program. 

He welcomed the attendees and introduced the presentation of the colors, the playing of our national anthem and the Saber Arch along with the Wreath-laying Ceremony.

A round table was set up at the front of the room in honor of those who lost their lives while in service.

“It is reserved to honor our missing loved ones and comrades in office. The empty table represents Americans still missing from each of the five services: Army, Marine Corp, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. This honor ceremony symbolizes that they are with us here in spirit. The table is round to show our everlasting concern for our missing men and women. The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering their call to duty. The single red rose displayed in the vase reminds us of the life of each of the missing and the loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith while awaiting answers. The vase is tied with the yellow ribbon, a symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter faith of those captured and missing in a foreign land. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of those missing and the families who seek answers. The glasses inverted, to symbolize their inability to share today’s event. The chairs are empty, they are missing,” said Pedro. 

President Deborah Curtis and ISU Veteran Coordinator Jessica Hales displayed the wreath during the Wreath-laying Ceremony.

“I always like to take this event as a point of personal privilege to lift up my parents on this day. They met as sergeants in the army during World War II. Their wedding picture in my home has both of them in dressed uniform. No flowers, no lace, no bouquets, two soldiers who participated in changing the world forever. Fast forward to today, I see our young men and women in our ROTC program who happily and enthusiastically raise a right hand and say ‘I want to be a part of making a difference in the world. I want to be a part of making a major contribution on behalf of my society and my country.’ They work and they train and they make us so very proud,” said Curtis.

Colonel Michael D. Holmes, part of the Indiana Air National Guard, was a guest speaker at the event. 

“I want to thank all the veterans who served. Less than 1% of Americans at this time are currently serving in uniform. Thank you for your service and thank you to all those who served prior to you as well. The reason we do what we do is for the common good of the nation. It’s not to make money, it’s the common good, that’s why we serve. The reward for this is that we make our nation safe. It’s that we make things better,” said Holmes.

Green light bulbs were given out at the event and attendees were encouraged to replace a normal light in their home or workplace and keep it glowing everyday this month to honor a veteran and to symbolize our support and thanks for these brave men and women.