The service and sacrifice of the nation's veterans was honored during a special program Friday at Tusculum College to commemorate Veterans Day on campus.
The ceremony was held outside the main entrance of Niswonger Commons with veteran students, staff and a community member participating in the program.
Cory Callahan of Bristol, a Tusculum student and a veteran, shared the history of Veterans Day, which started as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1918, to honor those who served during World War I.
During President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration, the name of the holiday was changed by Congress to Veterans Day to honor all those who have served in the nation's armed forces, in either wartime or peacetime.
Callahan served seven years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
D-DAY VET READS POEM
Arthur Ricker, a World War II veteran who was involved in the D-Day invasion in June 1944, read the poem, "They Did Their Share," by Joann Fuchs.
"All of them did their share," Ricker read.
"No matter what the duty for low pay and little glory, these soldiers gave up normal lives for duties mundane and gory.
"Let every veteran be honored, don't let politics get in the way.
"Without them, freedom would have died; what they did, we can't repay."
'LETTER TO MRS. BIXBY'
Wayne Murphy, director of campus safety, who served in both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy, read Abraham Lincoln's "Letter to Mrs. Bixby," a widow who lost more than one son in the Civil War.
Lincoln wrote in the letter, "I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save."
Mark Stokes, director of religious life, community and church relations, read a passage of Scripture from the 15th chapter of the New Testament Gospel of John that includes Jesus' words, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
Stokes served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
BAND'S MUSICAL SALUTE
The Pioneer Band performed the National Anthem and a musical salute to the military services.
As the theme song of each branch of the armed forces was played, members of the audience who served in that branch stepped forward and were recognized.
Tim Ford, a member of Tusculum's Facilities Management staff, led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ford, who served in the Marine Corps, also decorated the entrance of Niswonger Commons with flags.