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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Event honors veterans and teaches lessons

Pittsburg State University will honor veterans and their families this week with a program that has an educational theme. “Lessons about service” will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, at the Veterans Memorial on the PSU campus.

Like most Veterans Day observances, this one will include a color guard, patriotic music, speakers, a wreath-laying ceremony and even “Taps” and a cannon salute. Unlike other ceremonies, however, special guests will not only include veterans and their families, but also sixth graders from the Pittsburg schools.

“One of the things that distinguishes the Veterans Memorial at PSU is that it was designed not only as a place of honor and respect, but also as an educational tool,” said Ron Womble, director of public relations at PSU. “We’ve done a pretty good job of planning events at the memorial that pay honor and respect to veterans and their families and now we want to work on the educational aspect.”

Included in Friday’s program will be lessons on flag etiquette, the history of “Taps” and the tradition of the cannon salute. Speakers will touch on the lessons we can learn at the Veterans Memorial and the importance of sacrifice. Speakers will include Lt. Col. Scott Craig of the PSU Department of Military Science, PSU President Tom Bryant, former Pittsburg Community Schools administrator Joe Bournonville and Howard Smith, PSU assistant to the president. The Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars will lay a wreath during the ceremony and patriotic music will be provided by the Pittsburg Community Middle School Girls Select Choir. “Taps” will be performed by Will Koehler and the Pittsburg State University ROTC will provide the color guard and the cannon salute.

Nearly 130 new pavers have been installed at the memorial and those so honored and their families will be special guests at the program. At the conclusion of the ceremony in the amphitheater, those honorees will precede the students to the upper plaza area where they will be invited to find their pavers and pose for family photos.

Organizers say they hope they can expand the memorial’s educational use.

“We started small with a more manageable group,” Womble said. “Our hope is that the Veterans Memorial and the lessons that can be taught there can be integrated into the civics curriculum at all area schools. The future of our democracy depends on educating each generation and the Veterans Memorial is a great place to teach those lessons.”

Seating and parking will both be limited on Friday. Seating will be reserved for veterans who are having pavers installed in their names and for persons with limited mobility. Handicapped parking will be available at the memorial and nearby at the Bicknell Sports Complex with a golf cart shuttle to the memorial. For more information, call the PSU Office of Public Relations at 620-235-4122.

---Pitt State---