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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to hold Veteran’s Day Ceremony Nov. 11

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Program to include music, wreath laying, brief remarks

KINGSTON, R.I. -- November 7, 2005 -- University of Rhode Island officials, the URI Chorale Ensemble known as Lively Experiment, members of URI’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), students, and veterans will come together for a Veterans Day ceremony, Friday, Nov. 11. at 11 a.m.

The ceremony will be at the Memorial Union flagpole, but will be held in the Memorial Union lounge if it rains. The program is free and open to the public.

President Robert L. Carothers, Lt. Col. Paul Krajeski, director of the URI Army ROTC program, and Bruce Hamilton, director of the Memorial Union, will offer remarks. Krajeski will provide a brief history of Veterans’ Day and will introduce veterans with ties to URI, either as alumni or students.

The ROTC cadets will present the colors and the URI Chorale Ensemble will sing the National Anthem and perform patriotic music.

The veterans will join members of the URI Student Senate in a wreath-laying ceremony.

“Service to the nation comes in many shapes and forms,” said Krajeski. “Today we take a moment to reflect on the service of our veterans and the legacy of freedom they have helped bequeath to our nation and others. And it is especially fitting that we commemorate this day at the Memorial Union, a place dedicated to the thousands of men and women from the URI community who have served in times of war and peace.”

Nov. 11 is the anniversary of the Armistice signed in the Forest of Compiegne by the Allies and the Germans in 1918, ending World War I after four years of conflict. At 5 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, 1918 the Germans signed the Armistice, an order was issued for all firing to cease and the hostilities of the war. This day began with the laying down of arms, blowing of whistles, impromptu parades, and the closing of places of business.

In November of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued his Armistice Day proclamation. The last paragraph set the tone for future observances.

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation.”

The name was changed to Veterans' Day by an Act of Congress on May 24, 1954. In October of that year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called on all citizens to observe the day by remembering the sacrifices of all those who fought so gallantly, and through rededication to the task of promoting an enduring peace. The president referred to the change of name to Veterans' Day in honor of the servicemen of all America's wars.