JSU honors veterans in virtual ceremony

JSU hosted a virtual event honoring Veteran’s Day on Wednesday, highlighting past ceremonies within this year’s event. Photo was taken November 2019. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)JSU hosted a virtual event honoring Veteran’s Day on Wednesday, highlighting past ceremonies within this year’s event. Photo was taken November 2019. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Logan Irwin, Correspondent

Jacksonville State University hosted a virtual ceremony on Wednesday for Veteran’s Day to honor veterans around the country, both near and far. The ceremony was streamed on YouTube.

The beginning of the ceremony highlighted key moments from previous Veteran’s Day celebrations, including many “Thank you, Veterans” shoutouts from organizations across campus like the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the Students Government Association and the Marching Southerners. The 2018 ceremony entitled “Armed Forces Medley” was also highlighted in the video.

Gus Edwards, a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and Jacksonville State alumnus, spoke at the 2018 ceremony, and his comments were noted at the ceremony.

“Through JSU’s ROTC program, 1,540 cadets have been commissioned since 1947, and that includes me,” said Edwards. “Nine have been killed in the line of duty. My hope is that I represent them in a worthy way. Veteran’s Day honors all who have served in our military’s armed forces. Most of us were volunteers. We willingly agreed to go anywhere, at any time, to do any mission, so lawfully ordered, no matter what the risk, or how dangerous it was.”

Randy Owen, a JSU trustee and lead singer of the country music group “Alabama,” highlighted the Veteran’s Day ceremony from 2016 with his performance of “America The Beautiful,”  while many teary-eyed viewers in the crowd sang along. 

Near the end of the ceremony, a quote from Judd Gregg, a politician from New Hampshire, flashed across the screen, reading, “The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.”

The next portion of the ceremony featured a section containing photographs and videos of veterans and current servicemen and women. 

“American Soldier,” a popular song by country artist Toby Keith, was featured in the background. The next sections of photos featured families and spouses at the gravesites of those men and women who gave their lives for America and its freedom. 

“JSU wants to say Thank You to the courageous men and women who have sacrificed so much for this country,” the video in the ceremony concluded.

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