On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, our students spent the day walking to and from class like any other day – instead of honoring those who fought to give us the freedoms we enjoy everyday.
School districts across the area, including Tyler’s Bell Elementary School, Hubbard Middle School and Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy, set time aside to honor these veterans for their service and sacrifice to serve our country.
LeTourneau University had a ceremony showing a film that highlighted the service of our men and women in the armed forces.
However, Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler held no such event to honor our veterans, even though many decide to come to these campuses after serving our country.
The Veterans Administration estimates 500,000 personnel in 2007 used the GI Bill to further their education after serving our nation.
Last semester, The Apache Pow Wow profiled several TJC students who are veterans.
They were from almost every background and had different stories to tell about their service.
Even has our own assistant athletic director returned recently from serving seven months in the Iraq war. Other students have served for several years and are just returning home to continue their education.
It is sad that the student body, administration, and members of the college community on both campuses cannot set time aside to plan and hold an event for students and faculty who spend their time getting a higher education or work at our college campus after putting their lives on the line.
It is embarrassing to our campus that grade school children show more support for our nation’s veterans than our own college campus.
Next year, student organizations should get together not just on TJC, but at UT-Tyler as well and plan an event that everyone can attend and show the veterans on our campus that their service is honored and respected by their peers.