College celebrates Veterans Day

by Estephanie Aquino | 11/11/14 8:48pm


Students walking across the Green at 11 a.m. yesterday heard the Baker Library bells resonate with service hymns in a moment of observance for Veterans Day. Last Thursday marked the launch of a weeklong commemoration of Dartmouth students and alumni who previously served in the military, which included the Third Annual Veterans Day Banquet and a Veterans Day breakfast.

With thousands of Dartmouth students and alumni serving in World War I and World War II, Dartmouth has a rich tradition of military services honored annually each Veterans Day.

Tuesday morning, the Hanover Fire Department Honor Guard’s presentation of the flag and the national anthem opened the Veterans Day breakfast at the Hanover Inn, where speakers reiterated the importance of remembering and honoring those who dedicate time to the military.

“When we celebrate like this, we honor our veterans that serve,” master of ceremonies Michael Lauria ’05 Med’18 said. “Coming home to Dartmouth and recognizing the current generations that served and former generations that served and learning about entire classes that have served is truly phenomenal. I’m honored to be a graduate of this college.”

Former College President James Wright echoed Lauria’s message and spoke about the history of military service and remembrance at the College. Wright, who served in the United States Marine Corps, promoted the “Yellow Ribbon Program,” a Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to help cover the costs of a college education, in 2008.

Faculty and students who attended the breakfast emphasized raising awareness about the campus’s military history.

“Events like this are a good reminder that Dartmouth is not separate from real life — it’s always been a part of these larger questions of global issues, along with appreciating veteran service,” history professor Jennifer Miller said.

Miller is working on the Dartmouth Vietnam Project with history professor Edward Miller to address the history of Dartmouth’s involvement with the military.

The two-term program for undergraduates was launched this summer. Over the next several years, the project aims to facilitate conversations among veterans and others who may have experienced the impact of the Vietnam War. In 2015, the project will expand to include a new group of sophomores who will interview one community member at the end of the course. Graduate student Jesse Ricardo Perez, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, spoke about his experience in the military and at Dartmouth.

“Vets have different experiences — the vets I have met here have had tremendous experiences and I salute them for that,” he said, adding that Veterans Day is an opportunity to remember those who died during their service and celebrate those currently serving.

David Brooks ’15, who served in the United States Marine Corps, said he felt welcome at the College both as a student and as a veteran, and encourages students to take time to reflect on the contributions of those who serve.

Brooks is a member of The Dartmouth opinion staff.

The events were planned in collaboration among Dartmouth Human Resources, the Dartmouth Undergraduate Veteran Association, the Dartmouth Graduate Veteran Association, Dartmouth ROTC and the Dartmouth Undergraduate Service Association.