Veterans Memorial Plaques Rededicated
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 24, 2017) — On a sunny spring morning, veterans of conflicts ranging from World War II to the ongoing war in Afghanistan gathered on the Downtown Campus with a singular purpose: to rededicate three veterans memorial plaques.
The event, hosted by the UAlbany Alumni Association, was held near the new Garden of Remembrance outside of Draper Hall. Joining the veterans were University leaders, staff and faculty, police and a military color guard.
Glenn Phillips, a psychology major who graduated just last week, opened the program by recalling the men and women whose service helped “define the character of our nation.”
“Today, we honor those veterans — our alumni veterans — who fought bravely so that racial equality can be achieved, freedom can be enjoyed and the guiding principles of democracy can be preserved,” he said.
Phillips is a former conflict veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. At UAlbany he received the Presidential Medal Award for Veterans as well as the President’s Award for Leadership, and served as president of the UAlbany Veteran Student Association for the past two years.
Provost James Stellar spoke for the University “family” – the 20,000 faculty, staff and students who together “have the characteristics of a family – we come together and sacrifice for the common good,” he said. “In this country, the veterans are our family.”
Geoffrey Williams, the University’s archivist emeritus and a longtime advocate for bringing the memorial plaques out of storage and back to the Downtown Campus, spoke about the Veterans Wall of Honor in the University Library.
And Paul Ward, ’53 and ’54, a professor emeritus and the former director of the University’s International Student Program, closed out the program with a history of alum Edward Eldred Potter, who lost his life in World War I.
Ward, a World War II veteran, repeated the words inscribed in the National World War II Memorial in Washington to describe the veterans plaques and garden: "Here we mark the price of freedom."
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