Kent State honors veterans in Veterans Day ceremony

Patricia Battle

Kent State held its annual Veterans Day commemoration for all students and faculty to observe, and to honor those who served their country.

University President Beverly Warren gave her last speech on this event, as she is set to step down in July 2019.

A capella group Momentum sang the National Anthem for the first time in this ceremony. The whole room fell silent while each attendee held their right hand across their heart.

Guest speaker Capt. Russell Galeti Jr. spoke to the audience about what Veterans Day means to him, and his transition from a Kent State student to an officer in the Military.

He wants his audience to know there is more to Veterans Day than thanking, and getting to know our veterans.

“The narrative that we don’t thank our veterans enough, I would push back on that a little bit,” Galeti said. “I don’t wear a uniform to Starbucks anymore, because I don’t want to have to tell some person that their kind gesture is too much. So, getting to know and thanking our veterans really take form of how they are reintegrating into society, how are they finding a place to put down their warrior identity and resume their citizen identity?”

Joshua Rider, the director of the Center for Adult and Veterans Services, wants attendees of this ceremony to be informed about how large and diverse the military can be.

“You have folks ranging from Korean war veterans, down to students who are in ROTC that are currently serving or are preparing to serve their country,” Rider said. “The diversity of people who serve, they come from all backgrounds, ethnicity, gender, all orientations. It’s truly an American experience.”

Toward the end of the ceremony, those who served, or are currently serving, as well as immediate family members, were asked to rise for a brief moment to be recognized and honored.

As tradition for final closing, each branch of military stood for the playing of their branches song.

Patricia Battle is the military and veterans and adult services reporter. Contact her at [email protected].