A Veterans Day luncheon was organized for veterans and their family members on Nov. 8, to show appreciation. The college has honored veterans with other events throughout the year.
“This is recognition of veterans and their families and a way for the college to show its appreciation of the veterans’ services,” said Osman Huseny, the Vetcorp coordinator. There are 500 veterans or families of veterans on campus, and the luncheon allowed them to meet and talk with each other, he said.
“I am new here, so I wanted to brush faces with all the other veterans,” said student Brent Erwin. Erwin served six years on active duty in the Coast Guard and is now in the reserves.
As a navy veteran, Carlos Cabrera understands the importance of Veterans Day to the country as well as to veterans: “It’s all about honoring those who served us, those who are gone, and those who continue to serve.”
Another event organized to honor America and its veterans was the Salute to America concert by the SPSCC choir. Choir Professor Molly McNamara, whose father was a World War II veteran, organized the Salute to America concert in June 2013. At the concert, the choir performed patriotic songs, accompanied by the Washington Department of the American Legion band. Among them was “The Navy Hymn,” arranged by McNamara and Kevin Robertson, conductor of the American Legion band. Later in October 2013, the recording of this song by the SPSCC choir was played in the halls of the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
McNamara attended the 26th USS Altamaha Navy Reunion, as her father spent all of his years in the war on board the Altamaha. The ship and its crew members were honored with a dedication plaque placed inside the Navy Memorial. The recording of “The Navy Hymn” performed by the SPSCC choir played during the ceremony. “I felt it was one of the most important moments in my life,” said McNamara, “The fact that it was my father’s ship being honored while the recording of my choir played, with my brother and sister in attendance, just overwhelmed me with love and gratitude.”
It is important to honor our veterans because of their sacrifices as well as their willingness to sacrifice, said McNamara. She said that though many veterans might be hesitant to accept the appreciation, it is still important to do events like the luncheon or the concert because it shows that we remember what they have done for this country.