If you have attended Yale’s annual Veterans Day ceremony in the past, you will understand why I count it among the most beautiful and moving occasions on campus each year. It is a powerful experience to see members of our community—including veterans and those currently in the military who are students, alumni, faculty, staff, and neighbors—gather in the spirit of remembrance and share a moment of silence that pays tribute to those who have served, and fallen for, our country.
I am grateful that so many Yalies—from those who returned to their studies from the First and Second World Wars to the members of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) currently enrolled across the university—have felt and answered this call to duty, and I invite you to join me at Beinecke plaza tomorrow from 12 to 1 p.m. as we recognize their contributions. This year’s ceremony will include remarks by West Point graduate Nerea Cal, a Blackhawk pilot and recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award who is studying for her master’s degree at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. The Reverend Harry Adams ’47, Horace Bushnell Professor Emeritus of Christian Nurture—who served in the Army during World War II and was Yale’s chaplain from 1986 to 1991—will offer a benediction.
The university’s commitment to welcoming and supporting our servicemen and -women is as strong today as it was in 1943, when four of the residential colleges—Branford, Davenport, Pierson, and Saybrook—opened their doors to more than 1,000 members of the Navy’s V-12 college training program. Today, Yale participates in the Warrior-Scholar Project, which prepares veterans for the transition from military to student life. The Yale Veterans Network, one of the newest of our seven campus affinity groups, was launched earlier this year. And the Association of Yale Alumni sponsors the Yale Veterans Association, comprising not only alumni but also students, faculty, and staff.
I hope that many of you will be at tomorrow’s ceremony. And I send my heartfelt appreciation to the veterans, active military members, and everyone in the Yale community who will be marking Veterans Day here in New Haven, across the country, and across the world.