By Stevi Breshears and Thalaw Wah:
Veterans of Amarillo College Together held a Veterans Day observance Nov. 9 at the clock tower on the Washington Street Campus. Melissa Kalka, a representative from Congressman Mac Thornberry’s office, was present and spoke on his behalf.
The event also honored Vicki Barker, who is a student and also works in the Advising Center, and her husband Daniel. The Barkers are “Gold Star” parents, which means they lost their son. The name “Gold Star” comes from a tradition that began in World War I, in which families flew flags with blue stars to represent family members in the war. In the event that one of those family members were to be killed, the stars would be changed from blue to gold.
“This is a day that has been bought and paid for,” Daniel Barker said.
In another Veterans Day observance, the Amarillo Master Chorale held a Patriotic Salute on Nov. 11. The program featured two original compositions by Nathan Fryml, AC’s director of choral activities.
“The concert was moving and wonderful in every way. The singers and the instrumentalists were perfect,” Perry Pletcher, an instructor and lab supervisor in the Student Success Center, wrote in an email to all AC staff. “The event was inspiring and enjoyable.”
Veterans Day, which was first known as Armistice Day, was first celebrated in 1919. Every Nov. 11, Americans come together to honor and thank both veterans and active-duty service members alike.
Veterans Day also reminds Americans of the sacrifices people who serve in the military make for their country. “It’s more so for veterans to remember the lost brothers in arms,” said Brody Green, an engineering major. “That’s part of the reason for leaving coins on the graves of troops.”
Amarillo College was recently recognized as a military-friendly school by “G.I. Jobs” magazine. For veteran students who wish to get connected with veterans services on campus, contact Veterans Coordinator Kelly Murphy at (806)371-5026 or by email at email@example.com. Veterans services is open Monday-Friday from 8-5 in the Student Service Center on the Washington Street campus.