A series of events culminating with a Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 11, will bring educational opportunities for and about military veterans to the forefront on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
The Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony has become an annual campus event. Community residents are invited to join students, faculty and staff at 10:30 a.m. Monday in Old Main’s (the “Castle”) Cougill Foyer. In addition to remarks by both Jacob Fryman, a student veteran and Purple Heart recipient, and EIU President Bill Perry, the ceremony will include the laying of a wreath. The ROTC Panther Battalion will render a three-volley salute, while the EIU Department of Music will perform the National Anthem and the playing of taps.
During this year’s ceremony, Perry is also scheduled to sign a “Got Your 6” pledge as a public demonstration of EIU’s commitment to military student education opportunities.
According to Stephen Knotts, Eastern’s military student assistance coordinator, there is no set definition for a veteran-friendly school. Eastern, he added, has already proven itself as an institution committed to providing resources, programs and policies to support the student veteran population.
The “Got Your 6” (a.k.a. “Got your Back”) pledge, Knotts continued, simply means that the university will continue to make efforts to create academic and social programs and services for veterans and active duty military personnel that will provide reasonable opportunities for academic performance and success.
The public is also invited to several related events. Admission is free unless otherwise noted.
The Mattoon Junior ROTC Drill Team will present a demonstration on good citizenship at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Grand Ballroom of the MLK Jr. Union.
At 10 a.m., also in the Grand Ballroom, Paul Knudtson, director of armed services relations at National Louis University, will lead a discussion/question-and-answer session on “Student Veterans as a Strategic Asset.” With nearly 20 years of military service, Knudtson is a dedicated and experienced leader of individuals and teams, and focused on serving the needs and interests of veterans and the communities in which they live.
EIU’s annual Veterans Day concert – “Call to Duty: A Veterans Day Tribute” -- will feature the Eastern Illinois University Wind Symphony, plus special guests. Admission to the concert, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in Dvorak Concert Hall, Doudna Fine Arts Center, is $12 for the general public, $10 for EIU faculty/staff and senior citizens, and $5 for EIU students.
Third-graders from Carl Sandburg Elementary School in Charleston will begin Friday’s (Nov. 8) activities with a presentation of the POW/MIA Remembrance Table -- a single table set appropriately for a meal but is never used. This special scene honors those, be they prisoners of war or those missing in action, who cannot join their families and friends. This activity will begin at 11 a.m. in Booth Library’s north foyer.
Later in the day, Chat Noir – a blues/jazz/60s/70s local cover band – will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. in 7th Street Underground (formerly known as the Rathskeller), located in the basement level of the MLK Jr. Union, east side. Admission is free to the family-friendly performance; however, donations will be accepted for the DAV (Disabled American Veterans).