Home GRCC Campus News GRCC holds outdoor ceremony in observance of Veterans Day

GRCC holds outdoor ceremony in observance of Veterans Day

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GRCC student veterans and administrators, local veterans and more gathered at the GRCC Veterans Memorial on Nov. 11, 2021. (Joseph Poulos/The Collegiate)

In the spirit of remembrance, Grand Rapids Community College held an outdoor ceremony centered around the GRCC Veterans Memorial located between Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall and Fountain Street Church. 

The event opened with two GRCC students, Courtney Haveman and Desteny Zuniga, performing “To the Colors” on the trumpet by Haveman and the singing of the National Anthem by Zuniga. Both students’ performances were met with great applause. Small American flags were handed out to all in attendance.

A snapshot of American flags there were planted near the Veterans Memorial on campus during the ceremony. (Joseph Poulos/The Collegiate)

This year’s Veterans Day Celebration had two speakers: GRCC President Bill Pink, along with the newly appointed Veterans Success Coordinator Patrick Coleman.

Pink spoke about the importance of service, both in the military and a much larger sense.

“Service needs to always go beyond the armed forces,” he said. “It needs to always go beyond higher education. It needs to always go beyond church and faith. Service is something all of us need to think through and figure out how we serve others. Especially when we find ourselves in the last 18-20 months battling a virus that has drawn even more unfortunate division.

“Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this Earth -let that sink in a moment,” Pink continued.

Patrick Coleman took the opportunity to thank all veterans in attendance. By this time, the outside area was full of spectators waving their small American flags.

“To all of our veterans here today, we sincerely thank you for your service and your sacrifice,” Coleman said. “I share the pride you feel of being able to say you have served in the greatest military in the world. Thank you all for choosing to honor veterans today and show your support for veterans past and present.”

After a moment of silence, all in attendance made their way to the Veterans Memorial to lay their flags down in honor of those veterans who gave their lives for our country. An open house for veterans was held after the ceremony at the Veterans Center for those in attendance to enjoy a boxed lunch and converse.