The Campus Activities Board and ASULV paid special tribute to veterans on Friday with a luncheon at the Campus Center that was full of patriotic music, emotional poems and free T-shirts.
“Memorials are not only meant in stones and rocks, but in our hearts and minds,” student speaker David Ovcharcuko said.
The room was filled with warmth and appreciation as students of La Verne wrote thank you messages on colorful ribbons, which were displayed behind the podium.
“I think it’s a powerful event and it is the least we can do for the veterans,” Shelby Griffin, CAB philanthropy chair, said.
The CAB committee began by thanking vets for their service by calling each veteran’s name out loud.
The event continued with the Pledge of Allegiance and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was sung by Christopher Pulu, and accompanied by Ashley Huizar on the trumpet.
Pulu then recited a poem and toasted to the vets followed by Huizar playing “America the Beautiful” on the trumpet.
Christopher Kaelberer sang “God Bless America” a cappella, which received much applause.
“It means the world to me that the University acknowledges us veterans,” veteran Chip Kohnle said.
Student speaker Carl Decker delivered a speech where he shared a story with the crowd of when he saw a young boy holding an American flag with a yellow ribbon and how much it moved him.
Decker said that he is thankful for the veterans because his grandfather also served in the Marines.
Decker quoted Dwight D. Eisenhower in the speech that he delivered on D-Day where he said “the eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you.”
“It’s not just one day it should be everyday that we are thankful,” Charles Olsen, junior organizational management, said.
This was the first event that the University has held for the veterans. It grew from the idea of the ribbons and took off from there.
The hopes are that the event will continue every year from here on out, Griffin said.
Kohnle was so much inspired by the event that he said he hopes to start a veterans club on campus, which could serve as a resource center for all vets.
Veronica Rodriguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.