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Nov. 19, 2009 Volume 31, No. 13

Shared sacrifice

Saluting veterans

Members of various Mizzou ROTC units formed up at the Columns on Francis Quadrangle Nov. 11 and marched up Eighth Street to the columns in front of Boone County Courthouse for a memorial ceremony to honor veterans. The parade was part of a campuswide celebration of Veterans Day, and another example of the steps MU is taking to become a more veteran-friendly campus. Alexandra Browning photo


Campus pitches in to honor Veterans Day

It was both touching and appropriate when ROTC cadets laid a wreath under Memorial Union’s tower to honor MU students, faculty and staff who have served in the country’s armed forces. The tower, completed in 1926, was built to commemorate Mizzou students gave their lives in World War I. Their names, and the names of alumni and students who died in later conflicts are carved into the tower’s archway.

The traditional ceremony was only one part of the campus Veterans’ Day commemoration Nov. 11. The day before and throughout the night, members of different campus ROTC units held a vigil at the war memorials in front of the Boone County Courthouse.

The next morning, cadet units formed up at the Columns on Francis Quadrangle for a parade up Eighth Street to the courthouse for a memorial ceremony that included a 21-gun salute.

Many campus groups pitched in. That afternoon, members of the Mizzou Student Veterans Association held a household goods drive for a program that provides housing to homeless veterans. At the MSA/GPS Craft Studio, MU students created thank-you cards for veterans who are patients in the Truman Veterans Hospital near campus. Throughout the day, students collected items for members of a Fulton National Guard unit stationed in Afghanistan.

This was the second year for the campuswide Veterans Day celebration. It comes on the heels of a task force report that explored ways to make Mizzou more “veteran friendly.” Chancellor Brady Deaton launched the initiative in August 2007 in an effort to make veterans’ return to campus as smooth as possible and improve their opportunities at MU.

“I expect our campus to lead the way in ensuring that America’s veterans and service members are welcomed and supported as they join or return to the university community,” Deaton said. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense recognized MU as a Five-Star Employer.