Veterans Day is a time meant to honor and give thanks to those who have served our country. Weber State is doing its part to ensure students learn about the sacrifices many have made during times of war.
This week, the Shepherd Union became an area for students to learn about some of the major conflicts veterans have fought in. Displays featured weapons and other military gear from as early as World War I.
Volunteer veterans donned uniforms from the past and present to show students what it was like being in the military and answered any questions students had about the history of these wars.
The display was the work of the Veteran Student Services center on campus. Charlie Chandler, the Veteran Student Services coordinator, said his main goal of the display is to promote awareness to students.
“It kind of gets them out of their comfort zone,” Chandler said. “It helps them to see that there’s a greater, larger world out there above and beyond just the education that they’re receiving each day.”
Chandler also went on to mention that Veterans Day is important because it’s not only a day to honor current military forces, but also veterans who were in wars many years ago.
“We just think it’s important that people know the reason they’re going to school here . . . today is because of service from these men and women,” he added.
Along with Chandler, Navy veteran James Bockas helped educate students on MRE’s, or made ready-to-eat. The packaged foods are given to military forces to eat, and according to Bockas some aren’t as good as others.
Aside from the MRE’s, Bockas said on Veterans Day a simple thank you to veterans can go a long way.
“I can tell you from being a veteran, one thing that made my day was someone coming up and saying thank you,” Bockas said, adding that Veterans Day is important because having a day set aside where people appreciate what veterans do gives validation.
Throughout the day students approached the table eager to learn from the display and Luke Marley, a Marine veteran, was ready to answer any and all questions that were asked. He said Veterans Day is important for a few different reasons.
“The American populous is kind of ignorant to the world around them,” Marley said. “They’re not aware that there’s a world happening around them. I wouldn’t say you should thank people for doing their job, but it’s important to show the respect that’s due.”
Marley said education is important, especially because the world will never be a perfect place.
“There is no such thing as world peace unfortunately,” Marley said. “There has to be those who stand at the door, and you can’t always be the little pigs against the big bad wolf. Sometimes you have to be the door and stand in between them.”
Veterans Day started out in 1919 at the end of World War I and was originally dubbed “Armistice Day,” celebrating the armistice that ended the war.
Later on Congress passed a resolution for annual observance and in 1938 Nov. 11 became a national holiday.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the holiday is often confused with Memorial Day which is a common misconception. Memorial Day, which takes place in May, is meant to honor service members who have died.
Veterans Day is meant to pay tribute to all veterans, and to give thanks to those who are alive today.
Note: This story was updated in the caption to correct the host of the military exhibit at the Shepherd Union.