Veterans Day serves as a day to honor and celebrate the country’s veterans across the nation.
Through the entrance doors of Princeton University’s chapel on campus, the Spirit of Princeton and the university would do just that with a combined Veterans Day service on Nov. 11.
“I think this important for the community because it helps us remember. It creates a conversation and is a placeholder to remember,” said Kam Amirzafari, co-chair of The Spirit of Princeton. “This is such a beautiful location and we were having one service and they were having another. It’s one town, one community and one set of veterans. It was a wonderful opportunity to pull resources and have everyone come together.”
Before the merging of the annual ceremony traditions, the Spirit of Princeton would hold a separate ceremony at the All Wars Monument.
“I do this to continue the promise of supporting the veteran community. That is why I get involved in events like this,” Amirzafari said. “I did not grow up here. I am a foreigner to this country and I am so appreciative of everything. I know the sacrifice that veterans and their families make.”
The Veterans Day service featured the presentation of the colors, remarks from Mayor Mark Freda and Kaller Roemer, who is president of the Princeton Student Veterans Alliance, a musical meditation from Mary Rorro and a singing rendition of “America the Beautiful” by Kenneth Grayson.
“Veterans around the country see today as moment to gather and collect themselves and make sure there is support for each other,” Roemer said. “For the civilian population, Veterans Day it is moment to make sure there is respect going to the people that have sacrificed and served. I think it is just a great day in the country for patriotism, service and sacrifice.”
Roemer is not only the president of the Princeton Student Veterans Alliance, but also the president of the Ivy League Veterans Council. A veteran who served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division he would be deployed to Iraq as a Fire Team Leader.
“A big part of my speech was to acknowledge the fact that there are still many difficulties for veterans as they return home, but it is getting better,” he added. “Veterans deserve a shot and when they get a position like becoming a student a Princeton University or other top schools in the country we can not only do well, but thrive. For me it was an understanding that these two worlds exist.”
When asked about what civilians can do to help veterans, Roemer said they can help by “listening to veterans.”
“Listen to veterans, reach out veterans, help veterans. There are a lot of people who come home with invisible wounds,” he said. “A lot of what they need is a hand to be helped up. If we can make sure that people who are not veterans in this country understand that veterans have issues and those are not permanent issues and can be solved, we can go a long way.”
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day after the end of World War I. In the 1950s, Armistice Day would be changed to Veterans Day.
Different from Memorial Day, Veterans Day honors both living and dead all veterans of every war and is celebrated across the country annually on Nov. 11.