The USC Veterans Association, USC College Democrats, USC College Republicans and the Transfer and Veterans Student Programs organized USC’s first annual Veterans Day Ceremony in front of Tommy Trojan at noon on Monday.
“The most important thing taken into account is the fact that it is Veterans Day, so everyone came together to collaborate and organize the event to celebrate all the men and women that have served our country,“ said Hsiao Hsu, vice president of the USC Veterans Association.
The event began with the Trojan Marching Band playing the national anthem and the USC fight song. Keith Williams, president of the USC Veterans Association, talked about the life of a Trojan veteran, Benjamin Salomon, and his struggles and accomplishments.
Hsu then introduced Mikal Vega, a veteran who spoke about his experiences.
“The highlight of my career was getting to go downrange in Iraq and serving with some of the most incredible men,” Vega said.
Joshua Castro, historian of the Veterans Association, introduced D. Wayne Robinson, a veteran and the president of the Student Veterans of America.
The Student Veterans of America, founded in 2008, helps keep tax dollars investing in veterans of the country and makes sure that all student veterans excel in postsecondary programs in order to contribute to society.
“Get to know student veterans that are on campus at USC because they are the next generation of leaders, at the community, state and national level and I am honored to stand as their representative,” Robinson said.
Many students expressed their support for the event and for veterans themselves. Isaac Steele, a senior majoring in computer science (games), said he thought the event was a nice way to commemorate veterans.
“It was great hearing the perspectives of veterans and what they’re doing to help other veterans now. It’s just nice that the campus put on something to recognize this Veterans Day and recognize the veterans throughout the week instead of it just being a holiday on the calendar,” Steele said.
Yilin Zhang, a freshman majoring in business administration, said it’s important to observe Veterans Day because of the sacrifices veterans made for the United States.
“They were brave enough to go and fight for this country, so I think a day to commemorate and celebrate them is important,” Zhang said.
Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojan