FAYETTE, Iowa (November 13, 2014) – A large crowd packed the ballrooms of the Student Center Tuesday, November 11, for the annual Upper Iowa University Veterans Day ceremony. The event featured a special recognition of all veterans in attendance; a featured speaker in UIU Athletics Director David Miller, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1984-1995; and a the presentation of the wreath of honor by President William R. Duffy II and his wife Sharon.
“One of the primary reasons I chose Upper Iowa University was its rich history and long affiliation with the U.S. military,” said Duffy, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Col., and 21st President of Upper Iowa University. “We have so many veterans employed by UIU; we have locations on some of the largest military bases in the world representing the most professional military the world has ever seen. We’ve also had students serving in harm’s way who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. I can say with great pride that Upper Iowa University, and the citizens of Fayette County, are here today because you have not forgotten those who have died for our country and for the ideals we all cherish. I am so very proud to be a member of this Peacock family, and equally proud to say that Upper Iowa University has established the Military Family Scholarship and Student Services Endowment Fund. We are also working to establish the Military and Veterans Service Center to support those serving; along with their family members, seeking to achieve their educational goals through UIU.”
As Miller took the podium, he said that he was honored to be asked to speak at the 2014 Veterans Day ceremony. He recognized veterans from the community and university in attendance, and asked them to stand and be recognized for their service and commitment. He also invited the families of service members to stand and be recognized. “We know you have lived through difficult times,” said Miller. “And you’ve often done the heavy lifting to keep the home fires burning. Thank you for what you’ve done.
“The service members we honor today come from all walks of life, whether they served in the time of war or relative peace, America’s veterans all share a common bond – their unwavering believe in the cause of freedom, a believe so strong they are willing to give their lives, if need be in its defense. In a world plagued by tension and the possibilities of conflict, that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. There is no way to maintain freedom without cost and commitment and risk. Millions of Americans have fought and died on battlefields abroad to defend our freedoms and way of life. Today members of our all-volunteer armed forces continue to make the ultimate sacrifice, and even as we lose serve members, more Americans are willing to step forward to serve. I think it’s appropriate to say, there is no easy path to peace in any generation.”
The Upper Iowa University choir sang “My Country Tis of Thee,” followed by “Taps,” played by Dr. Jeff Butikofer, associate professor of chemistry.
To view photos from the UIU Veterans Day event, go to the Upper Iowa University Flickr galleryhere.