by: Isaiah Thomas
UC Irvine honored United States veterans during the UCI Memorial Flag Ceremony this past Thursday, May 23; salutes were made to those both in active duty as well as in the reserve and guard forces. The ceremony, which ran from noon to 1:00 p.m., included military speakers from older veterans to military students who continue to serve this country.
Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Edgar Dormitorio, began with opening remarks. He spoke with pride about UCI’s dedication to providing aid and opportunities to servicemen and women before introducing the main speaker of the event.
UCI had the honor of having Brigadier General Denton Knapp as the main speaker of the event. General Knapp spoke about the history behind Memorial Day dating back to World War II and the significance it has in many Americans’ lives today. He reminded students that although Memorial Day weekend may seem like a vacation for some, it is important to remember and honor those who have sacrificed their lives — as well as give thanks to those who still serve today. In his closing words, General Knapp challenged the audience to continue the legacy of servicemen and women by talking and learning about their stories; he noted that for a military person, “there is no greater fear than being forgotten.”
Adrian Marquez, a fourth-year UCI student, veteran, and founder of the Anteater Veteran Association, concluded the event with a speech. His contributions to the campus have assisted many veterans and their friends in staying connected and supporting one another. In his speech, Marquez remarked that while Memorial Day reminds him of all the sacrifices made by men and women of this country, it should not be a day of sadness. Marquez concluded by reminding attendees to be grateful for the men and women who have served our country: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men and women who died; rather we should thank God that they ever lived.”