Dear campus community,
Before a busy weekend, I want to reflect on the importance of Veterans Day, which takes place Saturday and will be celebrated on campus Monday at 3 p.m. in Old Main Brown Auditorium.
Veterans Day honors the courage and sacrifice of those who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Our military veterans are willing to risk their lives to protect many of the freedoms we enjoy, and this day offers an opportunity to express our deepest gratitude for their service.
One of my favorite parts of our annual Veterans Day ceremony is a slideshow that displays names and photographs of service members with ties to SUNY Cortland. They include my father, who joined the U.S. Army after the attacks on Pearl Harbor and fought in the 60th Black Panther Division until 1945. Their images are reminders of the university’s many connections to veterans and our recognition of their bravery.
Many people on campus deserve our thanks and admiration as well — faculty and staff members who have served in addition to approximately 50 student veterans who currently study at SUNY Cortland. Chancellor John B. King, Jr. recently announced additional support for military veterans, including free college applications and work opportunities, and I am very proud of our own recent efforts here on campus. Our Student Veterans and Military Club is a wonderful community dedicated to honoring and supporting military members, especially in their post-service lives. Veterans Day reminds us to take care of our veterans, especially after they return home from service.
While classes are in session Monday, remember that some offices may have limited coverage.
In the days ahead, I hope you will make a conscious effort to remember the veterans in your life. Veterans Day serves as an important reminder to express our appreciation for those who have served and continue to serve our country.
All the best,
Erik J. Bitterbaum