Flags ceremony honors veterans

James Vaughn

Flags flew high in honor of Veterans Day. A presentation of the Flags Ceremony, which is one of the many events USI hosted in support of American veterans, was held 11 a.m. Friday outside the Wright Administration Building.

Following the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance, host Capt. Joel Matherly introduced Mark Bernard, the associate provost of Outreach and Engagement.

“As a university, we should strive to be the most veteran friendly campus we can be,” Bernard said to the audience of about 30 civilians.

Bernard also spoke about the recent passing of his father, a war veteran and about what Veterans Day means to him and what it should mean to every other American. 

Matherly, assistant professor of military science and operations officer for USI’s ROTC program, gives the majority of credit for the events to the Continuing Education Director Linda Cleek.

“Linda was outstanding. She volunteered and took charge about three weeks ago,” Matherly said. “This is by far the most organized Veterans Day program I have seen since coming here in 2005.”

This was the first year Cleek was in charge of the Veterans Day events, which were sponsored by Operation Eagle and funded through a university grant. Matherly also gave credit to the four cadets who took part in the presentation. They began rehearsing for the event a month ago.

“They understand that they represent not only those who served our country at war but every man or woman who has ever stepped foot in a uniform,” Matherly said.

As a war veteran, Matherly said he has a lot of pride for USI.

“This is the best pro-military university I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Being here means that our soldiers have one less thing to worry about, knowing that they have people to back them up.”

A number of other activities, including a display of memorable heritage, the showing of four war-related films and Sodexo offering a free lunch to any veteran, were also included in the day’s events.