ACU honored those who have served and those currently serving in the military with a special Chapel tribute in Moody Coliseum on Monday.
American flags, provided by Prosperity Bank, surrounded the entrance of Moody Coliseum. War Veterans from Abilene and the families of veteran’s attended the tribute along with many ACU students.
ACU’s A Cappella Chorus and Grand Chorus honored the veterans by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “In Remembrance” by Jeffrey Ames and “A Tribute to the Armed Services.”
Veterans were encouraged to stand when their military branch’s song was sung by ACU’s Grand Chorus in “A Tribute to the Armed Services.”
Jim Holmans, executive assistant to Chancellor Royce Money, said the Veteran’s Day tribute started in 2009 when Money changed the focus of Opening Chapel toward education and focused less on honoring veterans.
Money then chose to honor veterans on Veteran’s Day, which Holmans said has worked out much better.
“I think it gives time to reflect and gives opportunity for people who’ve never thought about the military and how it’s contributed to where they are in their life, the freedoms they have, the rights they enjoy by a different set of people that they’ve never thought about,” Holmans said. “Many of those people, like me and like several others, have served or are continuing our service through the university.”
Dr. Gary McCaleb, vice president of the university, emphasized the impact the Choral department’s participation had on the tribute.
“It’s a busy time for them, yet I think they see the importance of this event,” McCaleb said. “I think having them be a part of it, to add the music element to it, really adds a special dimension to the time.”
McCaleb also said the different generations of veterans that come to the Veteran’s Day tribute have an important impact on students.
“A number of the veterans come and are recognized, and the students, I think, kind of see in them their grandparents and their grandparents’ era,” McCaleb said. “It puts a human face on history that they read about and study about.”
Holmans and McCaleb both said they hope the tribute inspires students.
“It says something about living a life with appreciation and an awareness that we can’t live a self-contained life,” McCaleb said. “Other people do things that make our life better. Therefore, one of our best responses is that we live lives that contribute to making other lives better. It’s sort of passing it on.”
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