Members of the SUNY New Paltz community came together beneath the flag poles outside Haggerty Administration Building for a Memorial Day ceremony honoring those American military personnel who have given their lives in service of their country.
This was the third annual wreath-laying ceremony convened by the College’s Office of Veteran & Military Services (OVMS). The Office is dedicated to supporting military-affiliated students who attend New Paltz, but on this occasion OVMS Coordinator Jason Gilliland lead members of the faculty and staff in paying tribute to those who sacrificed their dreams and ambitions for a cause greater than themselves.
“Our campus community will always be proud of the selfless service of the more than one million men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice for the United States since our nation’s founding,” Gilliland said.
“We must never forget the families of our fallen. Long after the battlefield guns have been silenced and the bombs have stopped exploding, the children of our fallen warriors will still be missing their parents; spouses will still be without their life partners; and parents will continue to grieve for their heroic sons and daughters. We need to be there for them. Nobody can replace these heroes, but we can offer shoulders to cry on, assistance with their educational goals, and assurances that their sacrifices will not be forgotten.”
New Paltz alumna and Air National Guardsman Senior Airman Sinead Kirnan ’17 (Biology) presented keynote remarks before joining Gilliland in laying the ceremonial wreath.
“Bravery does not mean that you are not scared; it means that you go anyway,” Kirnan said. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgment that something else is more important than the fear. Everyone we honor today has these qualities in common. They all experienced fear, but still laced up their boots and moved forward.”
More information about Veteran & Military Services at SUNY New Paltz is available online.