Members of Daemen University’s community gathered in Rosary Hall on Friday to pay tribute to the nation’s veterans during the annual “Veterans Day of Recognition” event.
Held in accordance with Veterans Day celebrated nationwide, the event began with the singing of the U.S. national anthem by Daemen alum Annie Brady ’12.
Executive Vice President and Provost Michael Brogan served as the keynote speaker and recognized and thanked veterans for their service.
“Throughout this nation’s history, American soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guard members have bravely answered the call to defend our freedom, to aid our friends and allies, and to turn back aggressors,” said Brogan. “Today, it is our privilege to say ‘thank you’ to all of America’s veterans, to let them know that we appreciate them for their service, and honor them for their sacrifices.”
“The price of freedom is high – we cannot afford to forget those willing to pay it,” he added.
Following Brogan’s speech, attendees shared a moment of silence to honor those who were lost in battle.
Director of Veteran Services Mark Martinez also spoke at the event and urged attendees to ask government officials to increase veteran benefits.
“The best way to thank a veteran is by contacting your state senators and advocating for them to fight for our benefits and make it easier for us to get them,” said Martinez. “It’s better than anything you can do because it lasts a lifetime.”
Free boxed lunches and cupcakes were also provided in the campus’ veterans lounge at the Nancy Haberman Gacioch Center for Veterans, allowing veterans to relax and share a meal together.
Overall, Martinez said he was pleased with the event’s outcome, having received positive feedback from veterans on campus.
Looking to the future, he said he hopes to add to the Veterans Day of Recognition ceremony with additional speakers and interactive events.
“I am always looking at ways we can do better for our veterans on campus and their dependents,” said Martinez. “I plan on conducting a survey for our veteran students before the end of the semester to come up with new ideas and ways we can show our appreciation to our veterans.”
For more information about local resources and services for veterans, click here.