Third Annual Veterans Day Celebration to Take Place at 12 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Westminster’s Veterans Plaza
Fulton, Mo. – Veterans and the general public are cordially invited to attend Westminster’s third annual Veterans Day Celebration at 12 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Veterans Plaza, located at the south entrance of Hunter Activity Center on “the Hill” at the top of C.F. Lamkin Drive.
The solemn ceremony will follow lights on the historic Columns being ceremoniously changed to red, white and blue at dusk on Nov. 10. The patriotic colors will continue through the evening of Nov. 11.
Other campus-wide recognitions include patriotically decorated Honor Trees at America’s National Churchill Museum that display photos of more than 200 veterans, soldiers who have fallen in the line of duty and individuals currently serving in the military.
The trees will remain on display through the holiday season.
Westminster’s Veterans Day Celebration will include the recitation of the poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon, the opportunity for individuals to recognize veterans by name and a moment of silence.
This year’s ceremony will be conducted by members of Westminster’s newly formed Museum and Memorial Club.
Club President D.J. Brown, a Museum Studies and History double major, says members wanted to expand this year’s ceremony as a result of the hands-on nature of their coursework in Museum Studies ― a new major the College launched this fall that is the only undergraduate program of its kind in Missouri.
“Museum Studies has really added a personal emphasis to history study,” explains the senior from Malden, Missouri. “We are more focused on telling the emotional side of events, so Friday’s ceremony is designed around that goal.”
Brown says with this emphasis in mind, the group will conclude the Veterans Day Celebration at Johnson College Inn, located inside Hunter Activity Center, with veterans from different eras discussing their memories of bartering and swapping Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) and C-Rations.
Samples of both types of meals will be available to ceremony attendees.
Involvement with veterans’ activities is not new to Brown. He was instrumental in helping with displays at the College’s Veterans Memorial in Hunter Activity Center.
The Memorial to Westminster veterans was established in 2019 by students who returned from a 2018 college trip to Vietnam which honored Westminster’s “Fallen Seven” who died in combat during the Vietnam War.
Dr. Mark Boulton, chair of Westminster’s Department of History, says the students were so moved by the experience, they wanted to do more to honor Westminster’s veterans.
“The Memorial was a comprehensive effort that includes a number of heroic stories the students learned about through careful research, all of which point to Westminster’s proud military history,” Boulton says.
That history includes an Army ROTC program established in 1952 by Missouri-born former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who personally asked the U.S. Army to endorse a Westminster ROTC unit. The program continues today through a cooperative effort with Lincoln University.
Air Force ROTC is also available to Westminster students through a relationship with the University of Missouri.
“We are a small college, but despite our size, we historically have an impressive military history that in many ways can be traced to Winston Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech, which was given on our campus in 1946,” Boulton explains. “Friday’s ceremony is one small way we can honor those who are part of that history while also recognizing veterans in the local community.”
ABOUT WESTMINSTER COLLEGE: Founded in 1851 and home of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, Westminster College in Fulton is ranked prestigiously by U.S. News & World Report as the only National Liberal Arts College in Missouri. Westminster is listed as one of the top institutions in the country for economic mobility and return on investment, placing in the top 16 percent for graduate earnings with a more than 90 percent placement rate. Westminster also is a Forbes Best Value College that focuses on educating and inspiring students to become the world leaders of tomorrow. To find out more about Westminster, please visit the College’s website.