Contact: Mark McGowan, NIU Office of Public Affairs
November 7, 2006
DeKalb — Members of the Northern Illinois University community can honor veterans Friday, Nov. 10, during the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the flagpole across from Altgeld Hall. The Student Association-funded event is open to all.
Scheduled for 11 a.m. – ceremonies typically take place at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – the NIU Veterans Club-sponsored event offers a chance to pay tribute to men and women who have served, or are serving, in the military.
This year’s observance is held a day early because Veterans Day falls on the weekend.
Club members also will rededicate the Veterans Memorial Flagpole, originally given to the university in 1956 by the NIU Veterans Club. Jerry Beckus, an alum of the NIU Veterans Club, will attend the ceremony and speak about how and why the flagpole was donated.
Other speakers include Captain Eric Weyenberg, assistant professor of military science at NIU, and Mark Mueller, a veteran of the first Gulf War and former president of the NIU Veterans Club. Mueller will lead the rededication with the presentation of a new plaque.
Father Godwin Asuquo, associate pastor of NIU’s Newman Catholic Student Center, will offer the benediction. The NIU ROTC will provide the color guard and rifle team.
Jennifer Webster, the club’s treasurer and a music education major, will sing the national anthem. Fellow NIU School of Music student Sara Bramm will play “Taps.”
Webster, who served in the U.S. Army from 1997 to 2001, said the yearly service gives the public a good opportunity “to reconnect with their patriotism” during a time of public and political turmoil concerning Iraq.
Some of the NIU Veterans Club’s 25 members did serve in the current war, she said.
“Veterans Day is especially important now because we have been actively involved in conflict for over five years. Every day, U.S. troops are dying and, every day, soldiers are returning home from serving overseas,” Webster said. “It’s important for us to show them that we appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made, and that we remember them. Veterans Day provides a way to be involved and show our support of the military.”
Visit www.niuveteransclub.org for more information.
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