Services members honored with Veterans Plaza dedication

Photo+by+Joslyn+Simmons

Photo by Joslyn Simmons

Joslyn Simmons

UNF cut the ribbon and dedicated the Veterans Plaza to honor current and former service members at the sixth Annual Veterans Day Tribute on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Retired Marine and Professor Lt. Gen. Rick Tryon and Student Government President Caleb Grantham spoke of the importance of the plaza.

Tryon spoke on the history of Veterans’ Day, which goes back to World War I as being known as Armistice Day. He wants the plaza to be a reminder of the link between military service and the world of academics.

“Today’s dedication of the veterans plaza reflects a fundamental relationship that must exist between academia and the military,” Tryon said.

This relationship has been on the mind of the past administration of student government presidents. Grantham said the plaza has been in the works for three years.

“The actual process itself started in 2013 with a resolution in our senate to really express support for the project,” Grantham said.

Grantham gives former president Hailey Guerra the credit for where the plaza was placed on campus.

Service branch representatives, which included former Navy Quartermaster of Navigation Jaime Leigh Plym, rose the military branches’ flags along with the POW/MIA toward the end of the ceremony. She was pleased with how the event turned out.

“I thought it was beautiful. I think it was really well put together. I thought we had the perfect weather for it,” Plym said, a post-baccalaureate in coastal biology.

UNF’s military resource center on the edge of campus is home to 1,300 military-affiliated students. Major General Gerry Maloney, United States Air Force retired recognized those who served in past and present wars.

A recognition that was appreciated by those who had served.

“And I think it is awesome how the university always take the time to recognize their veterans and make us feel love and special,” Plym said.

Video by Joslyn Simmons

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