Meredith College held its 2013 Veterans Day commemoration, Honoring Women Veterans, on November 6, in Jones Chapel. Featured speakers were Meredith College President Jo Allen and U.S. Air Force Col. Jeannie Leavitt.
President Allen said it is fitting that Veterans Day takes place in November, during a season of gratitude. Meredith’s Veterans Day event was “presented in a spirit of gratitude for the service of so many who preserve our freedoms,” Allen said. “We are proud of the honor they’ve bestowed on us as worthy of their service.”
Allen noted that Meredith’s event had a special focus on women veterans, who have been called “invisible soldiers, because their service went largely unrecognized until the 1970s.” Allen emphasized that the College honored all veterans for their service. Men and women veterans and active duty military who were in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized.
Keynote speaker Jeannie Leavitt is Commander of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, N.C. She was the first woman fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
Leavitt said more than 2.5 million women have served in the U.S. military since the American Revolution. She reviewed some highlights about women’s service throughout history, and shared stories of some of those who currently serve at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Leavitt leads one of the largest fighter wings in the United States Air Force, consisting of nearly 5,700 officers, enlisted corps, and civilians. It is home to the multi-role, all-weather F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft that are assigned to two operational and two training fighter squadrons, flying over 15,000 sorties and 24,000 hours a year.
Most of the active duty military who are deployed “will not be home for the holidays,” Leavitt said. “But they believe in what they do defending our nation. This is our opportunity to honor them.”
Meredith’s Veterans Day commemoration included music by Vice President for Business & Finance Craig Barfield, organist, and the Meredith Chorale, under the direction of Professor of Music Fran Page. Millbrook High School Army JROTC Color Guard presented the colors and Enloe High School's JROTC presented a drill at the event’s conclusion.
Meredith in the Military Display: Learn more about Meredith and the military by viewing the archival displays in the lobby of the Carlyle Campbell Library through November.
Holiday Cards for the Troops: Support active duty troops by creating holiday cards. A card station will be located on the first floor of Cate Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November 15 to create holiday cards for the troops. Meredith College will send the cards to troops serving overseas.
Donate Used Cell Phones: Meredith community members may donate used cell phones for use by members of the military through a project sponsored by Meredith’s Staff Affairs Committee, through November 15. Drop-off locations include Carlyle Campbell Library, Joyner 120 and Johnson 111.