Honoring Veterans Day

By Megan Hite, HiteM@Findlay.edu

As many in the United States come together to honor past and present veterans, here is how the University of Findlay honored Veterans Day. 

On Nov. 9, UF held a Veteran’s ceremony honoring current students, staff and alumni who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  

At the start of the ceremony, the Presentation of the Colors was done by the Boy Scouts, troop 319. Senior Samanth Adkins led the ceremony in prayer and senior Zach Zelezink sang the National Anthem and “God Bless America”. Junior McKayla Holts played “Taps” to honor military heroes. 

Two guest speakers attended, Titus Allen and Rodney Cramp, who were both coordinators of Silent Watch, which is an organization to raise awareness about veteran suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans.  

Cramp gave his unwavering thanks to all the veterans in attendance and shared his gratitude towards the men and women who gave their lives for the county. 

“When you are willing to give that much, it is incumbent on society to put you in a different echelon in society. You have earned it,” Cramp said. “Sometimes the war there isn’t as bad than it actually is when they come home. They fight their biggest battles when they come back and the sacrifice continues. I don’t know that anyone understands that unless you see it or if you’ve lived it.”  

Cramp discussed his personal experiences and his passion to raise awareness for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.  

“To me, it is incumbent on the society that every member of the society understands what those people are willing to do, what it should mean for how we treat them,” Cramp said. “Not just when they’re there, but when they come back and that should be just a different section of society. They’ve earned it.”  

As the ceremony continued, Allen expressed his gratitude to veterans and began explaining how the idea of the silent watch came about.  

“The Silent Watch was founded in 2009 by Master Sergeant Tim Chandler and Michelle Hawks,” Allen said. “Their mission was to make awareness for suicides and to educate the public on what was going on out there as far as how they could raise funds for these military people that were at risk of committing suicide.”   

Allen gave insight on what the event is and how it helps veterans.  

“What the silent watch does is, everyday there are 22 veterans that take their lives,” Allen said. “We start the whole day of standing in silence for 22 minutes each and every hour. The silent watch helps people heal, helps them remember and again helps some of them get more treatment that they need.”  

The ceremony concluded with the reading of more than 760 names on the Veterans Honor Wall in the Center of Student Life and College of Business Building.  

“This honor wall is an evergreen wall,” Kenneth McIntyre, Vice President of University Advancement said. “Which means it’ll continue to honor veterans for years and years to come.”