Anya Savvy, photographer
Whether they vote Democratic, Republican, or Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL), every day, military personnel answer the call to serve their country.
Every November 11, the United States honors its military veterans. Minneapolis College started the celebration early on November 7, 2019.
The theme was, “Our Families Serve with Us.” When many people think of the military, they only think of the infantry, but not everyone in the military are soldiers. There are also business managers, dietitians, entomologists, journalists and other professionals who work to keep our country strong and moving forward. Also, families of military personnel are also totems of resilience and selflessness, choosing to support daughters, sons, husbands, wives, and significant others who defend and protect the United States of America.
Military service personnel would die for each other and would die for their country. One retired attendee at the Minneapolis College ceremony said, “We stand behind freedom.” And their families stand with them.
We civilians can learn from our veterans’ selflessness and commitment to serving a higher purpose.
January 2015 Governor Dayton officially declared Minneapolis College a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Company (BTYR). BTYR is a program that connects service members and their families to resources providing training, community support and other services.
If you were not able to attend the “Our Families Serve with Us” event, look at these photos then read the speech given by Dr. Sharon Pierce, president of Minneapolis College, honoring our military veterans and their families. At the end of this article is a link to a video shown at the event.
Dr. Sharon Pierce’s Speech
Good Afternoon. Thank you for being here today.
I’d like to begin by recognizing all of our Veterans, active-duty service members, Guardsmen and reservists present today and those in our Minneapolis College community who are unable to attend today’s ceremony. Through your military commitments, you have demonstrated exceptional citizenship and pledged your lives and livelihood to a level of service only fitting for the most courageous.
In recent times, the public has become comfortable thanking you for your service. Today we also recognize that you do not serve alone. Your families serve with you.
It is important to recognize your families and friends… the mothers and fathers who send their daughters and sons off to serve in an uncertain and often dangerous world. The husbands, wives, partners and significant others who wait for their loved ones to return home. So today, I say to them as well, thank-you for your service.
We know that Service has a price. Minneapolis College has a long, proud history of veteran students, faculty, and staff who have served, and who continue to serve in many different ways.
Because of the oaths taken and commitments made by every active military service member and veteran, the Constitution of the United States and its Amendments have been protected and preserved for more than two centuries.
They have safeguarded separation and balance of governmental powers and the peaceful transition of power between political parties.
They have safeguarded the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality. They have provided protection on campuses like ours and other places across the nation so Americans can exercise our right to free speech and assembly.
Every year on Veterans Day, I am committed to saying “Thank You”.
Thank you for safeguarding our democracy and making government by the people for the people possible.
Thank you for safeguarding my individual rights: freedom of religion, freedom of speech.
Thank you for safeguarding a free press and freedom of assemb
ly, and the right to privacy, and the right to vote and all the other rights we are entitled to as Americans.
Thank you for the safeguards of justice and due process under the law.
Thank you for safeguarding my civil rights.
These rights should never be taken for granted. In order to sustain our democracy and these rights we as a public must remain vigilant, we must remember and recognize the oaths and commitments you have made. Therefore, today I thank you and your families for your commitment to upholding these important foundations of our country.
Veterans, thank you for bravely doing what you are called to do so that we can safely do what we are free to do.
With respect and gratitude, again I say, thank you for serving.
Anya Savvy is a pen name for a Minneapolis College student who works as a reporter for City College News. To contact Anya, please email them at [email protected]