Gannon recognizes veterans in fifth annual Salute

Gannon University, which was recently named a Military Friendly College for the fifth year in a row, held its third annual Gannon’s Salute to Veterans Thursday in the Yehl Ballroom. The ceremony included words from the Rev. Michael Kesicki and the Rev. George Strohmeyer.

Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D.,  shared in his opening remarks that when World War II began, 500 of Gannon’s 550 male students enlisted and went off to war.

During the ceremony, soldiers who were prisoners of war, missing in action and killed in action were recognized, and six Gannon soldiers who were killed in action or are missing in action were saluted, acknowledged and remembered by name.

The event’s keynote speaker, Gannon graduate Lt. Gen. (Retired) James Dubik, is a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of War and the Institute of Land Warfare.  He spoke about the consequences that the current war has had and continues to have on members of our military and the United States of America.

Dubik stressed that there will be catastrophic effects on the men and women serving in this war if the United States continues to be “an army at war, but not a nation at war.”  Dubik highlighted that for over a decade, this nation has neglected the urgency of the war we are fighting and the fact that it is winning battles but ultimately losing the war.

For Veterans Day this year,  Dubik’s speech led the audience not only to want to share its appreciation for the service of military members to this country, but to realize just how mentally and physically destroying war is today and that the nation needs to unite and fully stand behind the troops.

After the ceremony, Zach Wolf, a sophomore biology/pre-med major, said, “Veterans Day is something that we don’t celebrate often enough. The men and women that we honor on this day deserve to be honored every single day, for what we have is a debt that can never be repaid.”

So, on future Veterans Days, thank Gannon’s own 1st Lt. John N. Dale, 2nd Lt. Thomas R. Grant, Capt. Patrick J. Brophy, Capt. David G. Mitchell, 1st Lt. Kenneth Susmarksi and 1st Lt. Edwin Thomas Winter, along with every other man and woman who has served the U.S. in times of war and peace.

Veterans Day gives Americans a chance to cherish and thank them for everything they gave to ensure the safety and freedom of those on the home front.

ALEXA SNYDER, [email protected]