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The Antelope

The Antelope

Honor veterans, not just on Veterans Day, but every day

During the Veteran’s Day event, the color guard stands at attention as the band plays the National Anthem.


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” 

This quote, from President John F. Kennedy, was shared by UNK’s student body president Nicole Kent, at the annual Veterans Day Ceremony.

Once again, Armistice Day has passed, commemorating the armistice signed between the Allies and the Central Powers of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. UNK made sure that the efforts of America’s bravest men and women did not go unnoticed. 

The ceremony was held in the Recital Hall with “Thank You, Veterans” banners displayed below the stage and numerous signatures of UNK Lopers covering it. The pride in the room became evident when students, supporters, and veterans stood for the ROTC color guard who marched in holding the American and Nebraskan flags high. No heart was without a hand over it, as UNK’s band played the familiar, but powerful melody of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” 

Capt. Damien L. Cullen, UNK’s assistant professor of military science, honored all veterans and those who are currently serving in the military with a stirring speech about his experiences in the Army and how veterans should be upheld. Within his speech, Captain Cullen described the progress being made in Iraq and the different culture that has been cultivated by the United States’ armed forces.  He also elaborated on the emotions experienced by military members during Veterans Day. 

“I didn’t want praise for something that was a part of me. It was praise for something that I was already awarded for,” Cullen said. “I have received a lot more support in my time than the support the WWI, WWII, and the Korean War veterans received in their time.”

In other words, those who have risked their lives to represent our nation should always be acknowledged. Without the support of their country, soldiers would not be filled with the courage needed to defend American freedoms and families.

In his concluding thoughts, Cullen urged the audience to contribute to their country.

 “Not all soldiers are cut from the same cloth,” Cullen said. “Everyone has the capacity to serve in one way or another, but they don’t give themselves much credit when compared to the veterans.” 

Citizens can always serve their country by participating in community service, civic leadership, and elections. Those who are interested in directly serving in the military are urged to contact recruiters or the ROTC program for further information. 

After the symbolic and patriotic events of the ceremony ended, the audience left with a piece of advice from Nicole Kent — to honor veterans, not just on Veterans Day, but every day. Thanks to UNK, the veterans were shown the respect that they deserve. Now, it is up to Lopers to continue that culture of reverence.

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