Colorado's official veterans memorial at CU-Boulder to honor fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan

November 7, 2011 •

The University Memorial Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado's official memorial to veterans, will host a Veterans Day ceremony on Friday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. in the Glenn Miller Ballroom. This year, the annual ceremony will include the dedication of plaques honoring the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ceremony is open to the public.

The ceremony will feature Maj. David M. Rozelle, commanding officer of the CU-Boulder Army ROTC program. Other speakers will include Carlos Garcia, UMC director, CU-Boulder student Tiffanie Battram, UMC board chair, and opening speaker Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. A reception will follow in the UMC Veterans Lounge.

Rozelle is a native of Texas and was assigned to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs in 2001. He initially enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard in 1992 and earned his commission through ROTC at Davidson College in 1995. An armor officer, he has served in Kentucky, Texas, South Korea, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Kuwait and Iraq, where he served three combat tours.

In 2003 in Iraq, Rozelle lost his lower right leg in a landmine explosion while participating in combat operations. Determined not to let the wound define him he vowed to return to service and redeployed to Iraq in 2004, becoming the first amputee in modern history to return to the same battlefield where his injury occurred.

Since his combat service in Iraq, Rozelle has founded, participated in and served as an adviser to a wide variety of programs and charities to support wounded warriors and first responders. The Army vice chief of staff appointed him to help create the Amputee Care Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and he has served as an adviser to the creative board of PBS' Sesame Street Workshop "Talk, Listen and Connect," which produced "When Parents Are Deployed" and the "Coming Home" Project. He also has served as a consultant on two children's books. Rozelle currently serves as a professor of military science at CU-Boulder and is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Back in Action."

In 1947, more than half of all U.S. college students were World War II veterans. When funding began for the new student union building on the CU-Boulder campus that same year, CU students and Colorado citizens decided that the building would serve as a living memorial to Coloradans who had served in the world wars. Colorado Gov. Lee Knous issued a proclamation stating, "The Memorial Center at the University of Colorado shall be the official state memorial to those who served and to those who died in these great wars to preserve our democratic freedom."

The UMC is the custodian for artifacts from the U.S.S. Colorado, a battleship active from 1942 to 1945. The ship's wheel and bell, and a cast-iron scale model of the battleship are on permanent display in the UMC Veterans Lounge, as is the 48-star American flag that flew on the ship during World War II.

Other campus observances for Veterans Day include:

Nov. 7-11, UMC Gallery

"Remembering Our Fallen," a weeklong observance of Veterans Day that encourages the campus community to take a few quiet moments to remember the servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m., Macky Auditorium

A Veterans Day concert including selections from Copland, Ward and Sousa, featuring the CU-Boulder Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band. Free and open to the public. For more information contact CU Presents at 303-492-8008.

Nov. 12, 10:30 a.m., UMC South Terrace

CU-Boulder's student veterans are hosting a pregame event prior to the CU-Arizona game. Local veterans, active duty, National Guard and reserve personnel/families and friends are invited. The party features a live band, food and beverages and door prizes. Tickets to the party are $10 and can be purchased at www.cubuffs.com/promo.

Nov. 12, 12:30 p.m., Folsom Field

Veterans will be recognized in the stands during the CU-Arizona football game. For more information call 303-492-4356. Veterans tickets are not available to purchase on the day of the game and must be ordered by Friday, Nov. 11. Visit www.cubuffs.com/promo for ticket details.

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