Published: Nov. 8, 2013

As we look forward to Veterans Day on Monday, I encourage you to take a moment to consider the debt of gratitude we owe our veterans. Without their service and dedication to our nation, our freedom and liberties would not be as secure as they are today. The adage that “freedom isn’t free” is so true and it’s our veterans who have paid the highest price for that freedom.

With so much attention focused on the things that divide us, it’s far too easy to overlook something that should unify us—our gratitude for the sacrifices of those still serving and those who have served so gallantly and selflessly in our armed forces.

That’s why I ask you to take a moment to reflect on how much we owe the silent heroes in our midst. On Monday please don’t forget to thank a vet, it’s the one day of the year our country has set aside to honor our veterans and acknowledge the legacy of their steadfast defense of our American ideals, principles, and liberties.

On Monday at 11 a.m. in the Glenn Miller Ballroom I invite you to attend a rededication of the University Memorial Center as Colorado’s official veterans’ memorial, as the UMC celebrates its 60th anniversary. Prior to the UMC’s 1953 opening Colorado Governor Lee Knous originally proclaimed it as a living memorial for all Colorado veterans. It’s a designation that has been a source of pride for our campus.

We have a rich campus legacy honoring our veterans, dating back to World War I. CU’s first “Memorial Student Union Building,” opened in 1931, was built to honor the 55 CU veterans who fought and died in World War I. Their names can be found inside the northwest entrance of the original student union that now houses the Department of Economics.

While the buildings have changed, our commitment to veterans has remained steadfast. The list of CU student veterans has grown considerably since the original 55. On Monday we honor them, and all veterans who have sacrificed for their country and for all of us.