Taps resonated through the Otto Budig Theater Friday as community, students, faculty and staff stood together to remember those who gave their lives in the line of duty. They also honored the services of the men and women of Armed Forces at the 2005 Northern Kentucky Regional Veterans Day Commemoration.
Congressman Geoff Davis gave the keynote address in a ceremony that featured music from the department of theater and dance, video presentations in remembrance of local soldiers lost in the War on Terror and contributions from the Xavier University ROTC. Davis emphasized students’ responsibility to cherish the freedom that they’ve been given.
“The students walking campus here today share their hearts and defend what they passionately believe because of the men and women who are willing to answer that call and to take that chance,” he said. “There is one glue that holds us together and that is the liberty that has been purchased for us by those who wear the uniform.”
Davis spoke to the many veterans in the audience.
“For all of you here today who have answered the call to duty and have made the decision to preserve that freedom that has been purchased from one generation to the next, you know that the call of duty is serious, it’s sober, and it’s necessary.” He said.
Marty Nie knows all about that call. A Korean War veteran who served in the Army Corp of Engineers, Nie listened to Davis speech and humbly acknowledged his service.
“The privilege is ours to serve this country,” Nie said.
Davis challenged the future generations to take the torch passed to them.
“Will you answer the call that the generation behind you has handed to you?” he asked. “I’m confident that the young people I’ve seen working today, even in this room, recognize their part in something bigger than themselves. They carry their army bags and are optimistic and insightful about the future.”
For many students in the audience who have friends and relatives serving in the War on Terror, the day held special meaning.
“This was a great way to honor friends and family and the unknown,” said Derek Koch, a junior political science major. A friend of Koch’s who was killed while serving in Afghanistan. “It was after that I really got politically active,” he said. “The best way to honor Veterans Day is to keep everyone in your prayers and stand by their side.”
Davis thanked his fellow veterans. He said, “Soldiers and sailors and Marines and airmen who simply raised their right hands and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution. They sometimes walked out into lonely places,” he said. “I salute all of you who have served. Thank you for your courage, thank you for the time that you have given for our nation and our freedom.”