Saddleback College thanks veterans for serving our country. (Alyssa Hunter/ Lariat)
A Veterans Day service was held in front of the Veterans Memorial, last Wednesday, to honor those who served our country in the armed forces.
Hosted by the Veteran Affairs Department at Saddleback, past servicemen old and young alike came together to remember their fallen comrades.
“I’m a Veteran myself and it’s just such a nice gesture, I haven’t thought about my military experience in a long time but being around other Veterans like myself is a good feeling,” said Jeremy Reyes, 25, film production.
The speakers of the service related their own experience in joining the military and what it has done for them. Saddleback Alumnus Cameron Fergoney related about why he enlisted in the Navy after meeting a veteran attending his political science class.
“The serviceman had a sense of selflessness that I felt like I could strive for,” Fergoney said.
Senator of Veteran Affairs Nick Martinez, 27, sociology, concluded the ceremony.
When he left the military, Martinez said, Saddleback had helped him find a new life as a civilian.
“I was searching for a purpose, I found that purpose here at Saddleback: completing my new mission which was to complete my education,” Martinez said.
After the service, attendees felt that more people should have been aware and have come.
“Next year I would like more people to come and for people, to be just point five percent more aware of those that sacrificed their lives for them,” said speaker Kellen Hietpas, 24, geography.
Veterans Day was first recognized as Armistice Day on Nov. 11 1919 by President President Woodrow Wilson. The point of the national holiday and remembrance, President Wilson said, was to give gratitude to those who served during World War One.
Today, Veterans Day is celebrated to remember veterans from all conflicts that the armed forces have participated in.
In the Saddleback Quad, flags were planted to signify the fatalities of the U.S. military, with a sign calling for a moment of silence from whomever read the sign.
The flags represented all of the fatalities from the wars from World War One to the current Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts.
According to the sign, there have been over 620,000 military fatalities from the wars fought by the U.S. in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Veterans Day was not commemorated as just a day long event at Saddleback, but instead as a week-long memorial to give remembrance to those that sacrificed their lives being a part of the armed forces.