Veterans and students came together on Nov. 10 to give recognition to veterans and military families. This is the second year Veterans Day has been celebrated through this ceremony at San Diego City College.
“I am so grateful we had such a wonderful turn out. I mean I would have liked to have more people,” Student Affairs Coordinator Lori Oldham said. “I’m just wondering how we can engage our students more.”
To open up the ceremony, City College counselor Tandy Ward sang the national anthem and Associated Students Government President Laura Benavidez recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Anthony Beebe had a few words to say to welcome students and veterans to the ceremony.
“This year four of our institutions at City, Mesa, Miramar and Continuing Education are recognized as military friendly colleges,” Beebe said. “City College also received the designation of military friendly employer, military spouse friendly employer and addition to the military friendly designation in general. We are the only college in the United States to receive all three designations.”
U.S. Navy Captain Howard C. Warner III spoke about Veterans Day and what it means to him.
“America has set aside Veterans Day to remember, honor, recognize and most of all thank our nations veterans for sacrifices defending and preserving our freedoms,” Warner said. “This is a day of reflections, memories and prayers for those to who lost defending our freedoms.”
He also expressed what it meant to him to speak on behalf of veterans at this ceremony.
“It is an honor and privilege to be at City College today to provide some remarks geared towards Veterans Day, geared towards recognizing veterans who have severed or are serving our country,” Warner said. “It’s been great, it was a great opportunity.”
Nilo Shaw Ondevilla was the last speaker at the ceremony. He is a veteran and student at City College. He retired in 1991 from the Navy and returned to pursue his education. His speech advocated helping veterans.
“I call upon you today to help a veteran, I enjoy just hearing ‘thank you for your service.’ It is the most awesome thing you can tell a veteran,“ Ondevilla said.
Audience member Sam Thrope wants to purse his education after finishing up his service in the Air Force. This being his first semester back in school he expressed what this ceremony meant to him.
“It means a lot. Support for all the veterans, what veterans have fought for this country, it really does means a lot,” Thorpe said.