Today is Veteran's Day
Dear students, staff, faculty, and clinicians,
Today, Veterans Day 2021, we honor all veterans. We are especially proud of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and retirees, who have served our nation honorably, through too many years of war and too few years of peace.
The first Veterans Day — then called Armistice Day — was 102 years ago. It marked the one-year anniversary of the end of World War 1.
“The war to end all wars,” took more than 21.5 million lives, and never delivered on British Author H.G. Wells’ hope for the future. More than 3,000 SLU students, staff and faculty served in World War I; 40 of them perished.
Since then, people of all identities, and all walks of life, from small towns to urban metropolises, wealthy, middle-class and poor, have selflessly given of themselves in the U.S. Armed Forces.
They were at Pearl Harbor and Bastogne. Chosin and Taegu. Khe Sanh and Hue. Kahfji and Jalibah. Fallujah and Mosul. Kandahar and Tora Bora.
Some served stateside at Rucker and Benning. At Quantico and Pendleton. At Groton and Pensacola. At Wright-Patterson and MacDill. And at Dover, where the remains of the fallen are solemnly and ceremoniously received.
They all gave up the normal, everyday life that we live for a hitch or a career in the military. And their lives were forever changed.
More than 430 veterans live, or work or study on our St. Louis campuses this semester. Many are retired military. Others remain on active-duty assignments. Still others are reservists, maintaining their readiness to serve, if called upon. We hold up each one of them.
Finally, we also recognize the dependents of our veterans and current active-duty servicemen and servicewomen. They may not wear a uniform themselves, but they serve and sacrifice alongside their family members.
Our University, and our nation, are better places because of their dedication and service.
Together, as OneSLU, we thank them.
Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.