ODU Celebrates Veterans Day with Sen. Mark Warner
On Nov. 10, the Veterans Day Observance event was hosted at the Kaufman Mall. Attendants included President John R. Broderick, Rear Admiral Patrick Piercey and Virginia Senator Mark Warner. The Army and Navy ROTC programs from ODU also participated in the event.
Silence fell over the crowd as the National Anthem was played. President Broderick opened with a welcome, recognizing the ROTC programs presence on campus for 50 years. President Broderick also noted ODU’s national ranking from Military Times for military friendly universities. The president then gave thanks to veterans and acclaimed ODU’s close relations to the over 6,000 military affiliated students.
Sergeant Josh Weaver, who served six years with the army, spoke next. Weaver majors in political science at ODU, who is also involved in the ROTC program and has been accepted into the Army Officer Program upon graduation. Sergeant Weaver recognized the sacrifice made by all veterans. He encouraged people to give a simple handshake and thank you for veterans today.
Rear Admiral Patrick Piercey, Commander of the Naval Surface Force Atlantic, was the next speaker. He spoke of the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and how it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the Navy during World War II.
“The USS Arizona Memorial also served as a reminder of the strength of the American people, their allies and friends during times of war and adversity.” Commander Piercey said.
Senator Mark Warner spoke last. Senator Warner thanked his own father, now 91 years old, for his military service, before praising ODU for their treatment of veterans. Speaking on this year’s Presidential election, Sen. Warner acknowledged people may be angry and frustrated with politics and the media, but the military is still highly respected. He went on to voice how the peaceful transfer of power is uniquely American and how the military are needed to protect this democracy. Senator Warner ended his speech with “God Bless America.”
Dr. Keating, a professor of engineering management and systems engineering at ODU, was honored with the presentations of colors. ODU’s ROTC presented the flag to Dr. Keating while the poem Old Glory was read. Dr. Keating served 12 years in the Army before coming to ODU in 1993.
Attendees were encouraged to make donations of toiletries to Veterans HomeFront. The non-profit organization focuses on ending veterans’ homelessness and reducing the number of veterans’ suicides. There was also a table for attendees to write holiday cards for deployed service members.
From left to right: Sergeant Josh Weaver,
Chaplin Vinson Miller, Major William Bowers,
Captain Lennie Reed, Rear Admiral Patrick Piercey, ODU President John Broderick, Sen. Mark Warner
Photo taken by Jacie Litz