Every year the nation pauses on Nov. 11 to honor those who have served in the military on Veterans Day. With Syracuse University being renowned as the Best Place for Veterans, it’s no surprise the University goes the extra mile to recognize the day each year. This year saw a flurry of activity around Veterans Day, most of which is planned and executed by the University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA). The activities would not be possible, however, without the community coming together to support the day—including by illuminating many campus buildings in green light in honor of all veterans past and present.
The official observance of Veterans Day for the University community started early in the morning, long before sunrise, with the 2022 Veterans Day 5K Walk/Run coordinated by the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Prior to the start of the run, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Matthew Coyne, professor of military science and the detachment commander for the University’s Army ROTC program, welcomed participants and gave a brief speech to remind those in attendance what the day was about.
“We’re here to honor our veterans and their families that have made the extreme sacrifices day in and day out to protect the freedoms we enjoy here in America, and protect the American way of life,” Coyne said. “It’s only fitting we are doing so at a place that has an extremely storied history of supporting our military and our veterans.”
Veterans Day Ceremony at the National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building (NVRC)
The community gathered later for the official Veterans Day Ceremony held in the NVRC’s K.G. Tan Auditorium. The ceremony opened with Kari MicKinkle ’11, G’20, a Marine Corps veteran who works in the Office of Veterans Success as a school certifying official, who served as the emcee for the ceremony which featured multiple guest speakers. The Rev. Brian Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel, gave the invocation and benediction. Musical performances were also featured by the University Singers and the 198th Army Band from Fort Drum in nearby Watertown, New York.
Chancellor Kent Syverud was also on hand to speak about the University’s continued commitment to the military community and introduced the keynote speaker, retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett G’04. Barrett spoke in detail about veterans being the silent partners alongside the military within today’s military-civilian divide, addressing the impact they often have in their local communities after they leave military service.
Stars and Stripes Tailgate and Military Appreciation Game
The following day featured the Military Appreciation Game as the men’s football team took on Florida State in the JMA Wireless Dome. While the game ended in a disappointing loss for Syracuse, it did feature special recognition for the military-connected community with military-themed uniforms and special in-game recognitions, like a Hometown Hero presentation for U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Okon, who grew up in nearby Camillus and fondly remembers working for Syracuse University parking cars.