Dartmouth celebrates Veterans Day, reflects on experiences

by Alec Rossi | 11/13/18 2:45am

Dartmouth had a packed schedule this year to celebrate Veterans Day, including ceremonies, discussions and events. The celebration, which took place over the period between Nov. 5 and Nov. 12, was scheduled similarly to years past.

The Tuck School of Business hosted the first event, “Microbrews and the Military,” on Nov. 5. During the event, a panel of veterans spoke to the Dartmouth community about their service and experience in the military.

On Nov. 9, Dartmouth undergraduate, graduate student and staff veterans spoke to students at Hanover High School. These discussions allowed veterans to share their personal experiences and answer questions from students. That same day, chief human resource officer Scott Bemis hosted a “Remembrance Breakfast” at the Hanover Inn. Veteran Brad Carney ’20 was the event’s keynote speaker.

Carney said in an interview with The Dartmouth that his military background was a factor in his selection as speaker.

“I have about eight total years of service in the United States army and [transitioned] to [being a] student here,” Carney said.

He added that his speech during the breakfast focused on how people “maintain security.”

“You can provide security by being well informed in voting — that’s one of your duties as a citizen, and it helps secure democracy,” Carney said.

Veterans Recognition Committee chair and assistant director of conferences and events Sara Campbell said that the committee’s goal is typically to hold the “Remembrance Breakfast” on Veterans Day. As a result of Veterans Day falling on Sunday this year, the committee decided to hold the event on Friday instead, Campbell said.

According to Carney, the purpose of the breakfast was two-fold.

“There are people in the Dartmouth community [who] aren’t typically thanked for their service because you wouldn’t know that they were veterans,” Carney said.

Additionally, he noted that the breakfast serves as a reminder to the Dartmouth community about the meaning and significance of Veterans day.

On Nov. 9 afternoon, the Dartmouth Reserve Officer Training Corps led the “Formal Retreat & Drill Ceremony.”

“The ROTC program [has] the privilege of being able to help out at the flag folding ceremony, so we practice that several times … to properly show our respect for all of those who have served,” said Jacob Rozak ’21, a member of Dartmouth’s ROTC program.

Rozak said that during the ceremony, the ROTC participants stood at parade rest while the hymns for each branch of the military were played on the Baker Tower bells. After the hymns, ROTC participants approached the American flagpole on the Green. Rozak said that two songs were played on bugles while the flag was lowered, properly folded and then presented to Gail Gentes, wife of College President Phil Hanlon.

Campbell said that this year’s ceremony had lower attendance compared to last year.

“We had a lower turnout Friday night than we’ve had in the past, mostly because it was [sleeting],” Campbell said.

Despite the inclement weather, however, she that there were still over 50 attendees.

That same day, the Student Veterans Association hosted a screening of the film “Platoon” in One Wheelock.

Campbell said that this screening, which was a new event added to the calendar this year, gave students the opportunity to interact with student veterans on campus.

On Nov. 11, the Baker Tower bells played the hymns for each branch of the armed services. The Armistice Bells ceremony took place at 11 a.m. to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the armistice signed during World War I.

Later that day, the 243rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball — held in honor of the founding of the United States Marine Corps — took place at the Hanover Inn. Campbell said that while the College is not responsible for planning the ball, it is still listed on the College’s schedule of Veterans Day events.

On Nov. 12, the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy hosted an event called “Imprints and Consequences of War: Personal Reflections of Alumni.” In addition to a discussion between audience members and two veteran alumni, students were also given the chance to have dinner with the two alumni speakers, Jason Hartwig ’06 and Brad Wolcott ’06. Rockefeller program officer Joanne Needham said that the Rockefeller Center has Veterans Day programming every year.

“We feel that it’s very important to celebrate Veterans Day by having programming, and because we are the public policy center and social science center on campus, this fits very well into our mission of informing and inspiring the next generation of leaders,” Needham said.

During the discussion, Hartwick and Wolcott discussed leadership roles and how to make a difference through public service.

On Monday, classical studies professor Roberta Stewart and women’s, gender and sexuality studies lecturer Brianne Gallagher moderated a public discussion called “Breasts on the Battlefield” at the Top of the Hop. The discussion focused on gender roles in modern and ancient war.

In addition to the College’s scheduled events, the athletics department also offered veterans free admission to sporting events over the weekend, Campbell said.

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