SUNY Adirondack Military Club member Kevin Cottrell gave fellow ACC student William Middleton an emotional hug after listening to Middleton’s poem describing the hardships, anguish and alienation many soldiers experience after returning home from war.
Serving as emcee of SUNY Adirondack’s Veterans’ Memorial ceremony Friday Nov. 11, Cottrell stepped up to the lectern in Dearlove Hall. About 70 students, faculty, administrators and veterans attended the ceremony.
“We need to reach out to veterans on this campus — we need to give them our support,” Cottrell said.
Earlier, ACC student senate vice president Andrew Holcomb of Granville had offered his thoughts for Veterans Day, citing that since many in his family had been in the military, he had a deep respect for those who had served. He asked all to commemorate their bravery, honor, and love for fellow citizens.
“Often have we said goodbye to a person we care for so much, who has served for the sake of our lives and out of love for our country,” Holcomb said.
Featured guest speaker Harry Candee of the state Veterans Affairs office, hailed U.S. veterans, many of whom had risked their lives in assuring U.S. citizens freedom and security.
“Our debt to these heroes can never be repaid, but our gratitude and respect must last forever.
Candee said that every U.S. citizen needed to advocate on veterans.
“Hire a veteran in your workplace, teach a vet life-long skills, visit a VA hospital, or donate to a veterans program,” he said.
Cottrell read Gov. Cuomo’s Veteran’s Day proclamation and ceremoniously handed it to SUNY Adirondack Vice President William Long. George Christian, aide to U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, offered his greetings to the veterans in the audience.
“Our doors are always open to help veterans in any way we can,” he said.
World War II and Korean War Veteran John “Ted” Brothers listened to the proceedings. At one point in combat, his life had been saved by a squad leader, he said.
“This is terribly important for the college to take time like this to recognize veterans of all wars,” he said.