By Twilla Burns
Navy Region Southeast Public Affairs
Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar was the guest speaker for the Veterans Day tribute at the University of North Florida (UNF) Nov. 7.
Held to celebrate the contributions of the men and women from the local area who have served in the U.S. armed forces, the ceremony was hosted by UNF's Military and Veteran Resource Center and included a veterans' tribute luncheon.
"In 1918, at 'the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,' the guns fell silent on Europe's muddy battlefields," said Bolivar. "President Wilson called it 'the war to end all wars,' and ordered that the armistice must be commemorated from then on. It was to be named Armistice Day, and it would be a day set aside for all to remember the veterans of World War I. However, after the Korean War, President Eisenhower renamed the holiday Veterans Day to salute all veterans, no matter when or where they served."
During the ceremony, the UNF Drill Team performed and presented colors. A designated part of the program recognized veterans of World War II, and the UNF Brass Quartet played a medley of all the branches of service songs.
"The character of our country is most clearly found in the courage of our veterans," said Bolivar. "It is right and appropriate to participate in parades and ceremonies like this one to honor such bravery, to gather together in remembrance, and to proudly hoist the American flag in front of our homes, schools and businesses."
After the ceremony, guests attended the Veterans Tribute Luncheon that focused on the Vietnam War era. The featured speaker was retired Capt. Bill McCamy, who spoke about his tours in Vietnam.
The coordinator for the day's events was retired Capt. Robert Buehn, director of the Military and Veterans Resource Center.
"Public events are important to honor veterans for their service and sacrifice, but also to educate the next generations so they have an appreciation for those who have gone before them and what they have done to protect our way of life," said Buehn.
"They connect the past with the future."
Buehn went on to talk about the resource center at UNF.
"We offer connections to Veterans Administration (VA) Health care in addition to VA GI Bill benefits. We have a full range of administrative services, including veteran entrepreneurship training, coaching for job interviews, and we can even help vets dress for success!" he said.
UNF's Military and Veterans Resource Center assists veterans from the time they enroll until after they graduate and find employment. They also provide resources to help with veterans transitioning from the military to civilian world.
CNRSE speaks at UNF Veterans Day tribute ceremony
By Twilla Burns