CUMBERLAND — About 50 people donned yellow ribbon pins and gathered around the flag pole at Allegany College of Maryland as the Maryland National Guard raised the flags and listened as the ACM choir sang during a Veterans Day appreciation ceremony on Monday.
The names of ACM faculty, staff and student veterans were read and the veterans or the veterans’ dependents that were in attendance at the ceremony were given “Thank You” flag pins.
“A significant portion of our college has a connection to a veteran, whether they themselves are veterans, are related to a veteran or know someone that is currently serving or has served overseas,” said Erin Yokum, ACM director of student life and club adviser of the Student Government Association. “So often their service goes unrecognized. I think it’s important to use this special day to thank our veterans for the courage, dedication and sacrifice they’ve given in service to our country and our freedoms. It’s a simple gesture that really means a lot to those who have served.”
Following the flag-raising, Yokum read President Barack Obama’s Veterans Day proclamation.
“... We also remember that our commitments to those who have served are commitments we must honor not only on Veterans Day, but every day. As we do so, let us reaffirm our promise that when our troops finish their tours of duty, they come home to an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong and our country moving forward,” states the proclamation.
Yokum also read a statement from retired U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell, former secretary of the state, which was featured in an edition of Parade magazine.
“This week on Veterans Day, put out your flags, cheer the marchers at parades, and go to tributes. But when you wake up the next day, Nov. 12, remember that it’s still Veterans Day for our veterans — and it will be every day of their lives,” read Yokum. “So thank them. Talk to them. Invite them to schools so they can share their experiences and teach our children that we all must take care of each other, on the battlefield and in life.”
This is the third year that ACM has had an appreciation ceremony. Last year, a plaque was dedicated to the veterans, according to Yokum. The ceremony was part of Veterans Appreciation Week that kicked off with an opportunity to make a greeting card for troops overseas.
Also during Veterans Appreciation Week, Wanda Barnes, Veterans Administration readjustment counselor, will present, From Rucksack to Backpack, a presentation about the transition that veterans make when returning to the classroom.
The presentation will take place on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the College Center’s Gilpin Room.
Contact Elaine Blaisdell at firstname.lastname@example.org.