In honor of Veterans Day, ETSU held a ceremony on Friday, November 11. The ceremony took place at the ETSU Veterans Memorial which is located in front of Gilbreath Hall at the Quad. The event was held by the ETSU Department of Military Science, Student Veterans of America and Veterans Affairs Standing Committee.
Although most students were observing this event unfold while walking to class, some could be seen standing and listening attentively. ETSU President Brian Noland was also among those who participated in the event as well as other members of university faculty and staff. However, the most beautiful aspect of the entire ceremony was the sight of veterans both active and retired sitting together. It was stated during the ceremony that ETSU has 381 veteran students enrolled this semester.
One of the students who stood far off listening to the event progress was Nicole Hobbs. Hobbs is a freshman at ETSU this semester who is majoring in Biology. She was not aware of Veterans Day ceremony until she was walking past the Quad area. Curious as to what was happening, Hobbs began observing.
Hobbs has an uncle who is a veteran, but she commented that she does not know much about his time of service because he does not talk about it much.
When asked what she would say to the veterans who were being honored just yards away from us if she had the chance, Hobbs said “thank you so much for your service; going to college is a privilege that many students here in America overlook.”
Hobbs continued to watch with thankfulness as music from the band drifted toward us.
“I am hoping for unity this Veterans Day, but I certainly understand why people are feeling the way they are right now [considering the 2016 presidential election],” said Hobbs.
“It is so hard seeing how divided we are today as a nation. However, there is always hope for unity and peace.”