By Amanda Acuna
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
University of the Incarnate Word students with military backgrounds shared what serving their country meant to them Friday, Nov. 11, at the annual Veterans Day ceremony.
Held in Our Lady’s Chapel, the ceremony started off with the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and welcome remarks from the Rev. Dr. Trevor D. Alexander, Protestant chaplain.
Alexander, an Army veteran, gave a short history of Veterans Day and recognized men and women attending the ceremony who served or are serving in the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Marines and Army.
A prayer was given in remembrance of those who have served and for peace on Earth. There was a reading from the biblical book of Isaiah by Brenda Dimas, administrative assistant for University Mission and Ministry. Following the reading, “Partners of the Mission” was sung.
Dr. Kevin LaFrance, an Army veteran and associate professor of healthcare administration, gave an explanation and narrative of the American flag folding while two servicemen folded it.
LaFrance explained what each fold of the flag – 12 in all – meant.
“The first fold of the flag is a symbol of life,” LaFrance said. “To a Christian citizen, the next fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.”
Following the folding of the flag, there was an act of recognition by the Center of Veterans Affairs to three of their work-study students: Army veteran Clarence Favorite, Air Force veteran Paul Warner, and Navy veteran David De La Fuentes.
Each veteran spoke briefly about what Veterans Day meant to them and what service means to them as a veteran.
“Being a veteran means I uphold all the values that were instilled in me in the Army,” Favorite said.
All the veterans were proud to have served this country and to be able to share their thoughts on why this day was special to them.
“Why do I serve? Serving my country is serving humanity,” De La Fuentes said.
A Litany adopted from “The Book of Worship for the United States Forces” was read by Karissa Vigil, a graduate communication arts major, to give thanks to God for those who are currently serving and have served.
Dr. Glenn James, an Air Force veteran and associate provost for institutional effectiveness and assessment, gave some remarks before the program in the chapel closed with the singing of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and participants moved outside to Cardinal Courtyard for a reception.