21 gun shots lit up the sky at Weber State University Wednesday night as the community celebrated Veteran’s Day.
United States congressman Rob Bishop addressed the audience of around 1oo, some in uniform, as the keynote speaker.
In his speech, Bishop focused on the U.S. being a country that often beat the odds by defeating much stronger opponents. As examples, he cited the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, as well as the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“Success in this world is not the birthright of Americans,” Bishop said. “It is important that we work for it.”
This work, he said, included the willingness of civilians to step up in times of need and defend America’s freedom against outside threats.
“Now is the time to write the last chapter of American history,” Bishop said. “This is the time for all of us to answer the call.”
“This event was very touching,” said Angell Monjar, a student at the Davis Applied Technology College who attended the event with her daughter, Gretel. “It really rekindled my patriotism.”
Gretel Monjar added that she now felt more grateful for her freedom. “Like [Bishop] said, my freedom is a gift I want to work for,” she said.
Chuck Wight, president of WSU, also addressed the audience, paying special tribute to soldiers who have recently returned from deployment.
“Veterans cast light upon the world and their own communities,” Wight said. He added that when soldiers return to civilian life, institutions of higher education like Weber State contribute heavily to their readjustment.
Colonel David B. Lyons, who is currently stationed at Hill Air Force Base, said that those recently returned soldiers were part of the greatest generation of military personnel he had ever seen.
“It has become acceptable in some circles to bash America,” Lyons said. “I am here to tell you today that we are an exceptional nation.”
Following the three speakers’ remarks, a searchlight was lit to remember the soldiers who are currently stationed abroad.
According to the event program, the light also symbolically shone to those who have gone missing on duty and to those who have returned and are now looking for a bright future through education.
Currently, there are over 1,000 veterans attending Weber State, equating to around 5 percent of WSU’s total student body.