Meredith College held its annual Veterans Day commemoration, Honoring Women Veterans, on November 12, 2014. The featured speaker for this year’s commemoration was Brigadier General Jeff Clark, director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
President Jo Allen welcomed the campus community and noted that the timing of Veterans Day in the Thanksgiving season is appropriate.
“Veterans Day should be commemorated in the season of gratitude and wonder,” Allen said. “We are thankful for the honor veterans bestow on us, as worthy of their service.”
While it is called Honoring Women Veterans, the event recognized and celebrated the service of all veterans. Allen asked any veterans and active duty military in attendance to stand for recognition.
As a women’s college, Meredith draws special attention to women veterans, who have been called “invisible soldiers, because their service went largely unrecognized until the 1970s,” Allen said.
Approximately 10% of the 22 million veterans in the United States are women. Ten percent of the 800,000 veterans who live in North Carolina are women.
Brigadier General Clark is the first Army officer to lead Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “We get to care for America’s heroes,” Clark said.
In his remarks, Clark drew attention to the sacrifice not only of veterans but of their families. There are 1.1 million military spouses, and 2.2 million children of military families in the U.S.
“When you hear the word veteran, I ask that you also think of the veteran’s family,” Clark said.
Military service is a family commitment, Clark said.
“When we pause to honor military service, as Meredith College does each year, I propose we pause twice, once for veterans and once for their families,” Clark said.