Salute to the Fallen

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Salute to the Fallen
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Memorial Day at UC Santa Barbara, 2019

By Jim Logan, UC Santa Barbara

Memorial Day means standing together to honor the sacrifices of Americans in uniform. UC Santa Barbara’s Veterans & Military Services (VMS) will do just that — virtually.

“Memorial Day is one of the most important commemorations in our nation’s collective memory,” said Coby Dillard, VMS coordinator. “Americans from all walks of life have given their lives to the American ideal, and it is important that we pause to reflect and honor those who gave of themselves so that we all may continue to enjoy the freedoms we have.”

To mark Memorial Day, VMS will hold a virtual ceremony Monday, May 25, from 11 a.m. to noon. Those interested in participating are encouraged to register here. They’ll receive a link to view the scheduled speakers and events.

“For our Memorial Day ceremony,” Dillard said, “in addition to speakers from the UCSB Military Staff Association, Military Families Organization and our Student Veterans of America chapter, our two invited guest speakers are Command Sgt. Maj. (retired) Jonathan Church from Santa Barbara VFW Post 1649, as well as Steve Baird from Band of Brothers in Santa Maria.”

Additional speakers are Boris Palencia, co-chair of UCSB Military Staff Association; Nicholas Schierman of Student Veterans of America at UCSB; and Xenia Suarez of the UCSB Military Families Organization.

VMS is also partnering with UCSB’s Department of Recreation and the nationwide group wear blue: run to remember for the first “iRun with Rec,” a virtual 5K and 10K walk/run over three days, Saturday, May 23, to Monday, May 25. There will be a live warm-up on the 23rd at 10 a.m.

The run is free and open to anyone. Register here to be part of it. Participants will race the clock. Visit the “iRun with Rec” page for details.

Despite the pandemic lockdown, VMS has continued to serve UCSB’s military-related students, Dillard said.

“For our students who remained local during the spring quarter, the Veterans Resource Center has been open as a study area, with appropriate guidelines for social distancing and safety,” he said. “We have 36 prospective graduates who are student veterans or reservists; each will receive a service stole to wear with their regalia. Our 114 prospective graduates who are military dependents will receive a red, white and blue honor cord. Additionally, we have six student veterans and two ROTC cadets who will be our inaugural members of UCSB’s chapter of SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.”

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a-1590369557 May 24, 2020 06:19 PM
Salute to the Fallen

Maybe the foulest lie told to us is the idea that these people gave their lives for our freedom. While that was true in some cases it was not so in many, many others. The Mexican-American War, the Spanish American War, WW 1, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War, the Iraqi War and endless minor military excursions have marked the US for some time as just another bully on the world stage. We are the new Imperialists. We need to remember these dead as tragedies. We need to vow to return the decision to go to war to the people, not to politicians who follow the polls of the moment. The US was created to oppose such forces but we have become them.

Gtownie May 24, 2020 09:29 PM
Salute to the Fallen

You both disgust me! God Bless America and those who have paid the ultimate price to defend her!

a-1590437287 May 25, 2020 01:08 PM
Salute to the Fallen

Gtownie--asking for God's blessing is a good idea. The US needs that sort of divine grace to overcome the evils it has done in its history starting with slavery and ending with Nagasaki for example.

biguglystick May 25, 2020 09:38 AM
Salute to the Fallen

I hope that photo is from last year... no one is socially distancing nor does anyone have a mask on.

a-1590425226 May 25, 2020 09:47 AM
Salute to the Fallen

Memorial Day at UC Santa Barbara, 2019.

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