Ceremony honors military servicemen for Veterans Day


Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Finkelstein begins the annual Veteran’s Day observance Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 as the Kent State ROTC raises the Ohio flag.

Leanne O’Neill

Nearly 100 people — clutching umbrellas in one hand and covering their heart with the other — watched three flags rise on the Student Green.

Members of Kent State’s ROTC program raised a flag, an Ohio flag and a Prisoners of War flag in the center of campus to commemorate members of the military. The university celebrated Veterans Day early with a ceremony honoring active and veteran military members Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. 

“Today there are about 200 veterans working beside us,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Finkelstein. “And over 900 veteran students attending Kent State University, including some of you who are here today.” 

Finkelstein introduced Kent State President Beverly Warren, who expressed her thanks to the troops.

“This is a time when sorrow, pride and gratitude intersect,” Warren said during her speech. “It’s a time when, regardless of politics or points of view, we recognize freedom’s heroes and heroines, past and present.”

Warren concluded her speech by thanking all military members of the past and present, as well as those who plan to serve in the future. She said they will always be remembered and have the gratitude of Kent State. Finkelstein said 

Finkelstein encouraged those who were veterans and those related to veterans to raise their hands to be recognized. Among those hands was one of President Warren, who said her father served in the Navy in World War II and her brother in the Vietnam War.

After Warren, Finkelstein introduced senior human development major Savannah Flannery, who then introduced her father, Chief Petty Officer Timothy Flannery. 

“As a dependent of a serviceman, I have personally seen the sacrifices that Chief Flannery has endured for the sake of our family and our country,” Flannery said. “Without his service and sacrifice, I might not be here today, a month away from graduating college. I am truly honored and blessed to have such an amazing role model in my life.”

Flannery hugged her father as they switched places at the podium. Flannery spoke about what being a veteran meant to him and his thoughts on military service.

“Being a veteran means a period of long service,” Flannery said. “It not only entails the service performed while in the military, but it also includes the service that many veterans continue to perform through the many veteran organizations throughout the country. For many, the act of serving never dies.”

Concluding the speeches, the official songs of each branch of the military were played over the speakers, while many military members sang. The cadets and commanders of ROTC ended the ceremony in the KIVA lobby, where refreshments were provided for cadets and military veterans.

Contact Leanne O’Neill at [email protected].