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Buffalo State Honors Veterans on November 6 at Noon

Buffalo State Honors Veterans on November 6 at Noon

Posted: November 4, 2014

The sixth annual Veterans Day Silent March at Buffalo State will be held on Thursday, November 6. The marchers—present or past members of the United States military or allied services, their spouses and dependents, and first responders—will leave Chase Hall at noon and proceed in silence to the Plaza (campus map). The Veterans Day observance will begin at 12:10 p.m. with the singing of the national anthem.

“Everyone should stop for a minute to remember the sacrifices of our veterans,” said Sergeant First Class Todd Ligas, who has served in the United States Army for more than 20 years. His current assignment is serving as coordinator of the Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Buffalo State, where he teaches a course in U.S. military history. His office is in Chase Hall, room 108. Buffalo State is one of eight colleges who take part in the local ROTC program.

President Katherine Conway Turner will offer welcoming remarks to the marchers and the guests. Margaret Shaw-Burnett, associate vice president of Continuing Professional Studies, will serve as emcee. Shaw-Burnett oversees the Veterans and Military Services unit at Buffalo State, which has been named a Military Friendly School for 2015.

Alumna and noted watercolorist Rita Argen Auerbach will present the Military Service Scholarship on behalf of the Armed Forces Alumni, which helps to fund the scholarship. The late Richard Auerbach, who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007, was a leading member of the Armed Forces Alumni. Jon Battison, this year’s scholarship recipient, served in Afghanistan. He is a senior who is majoring in both electrical engineering technology and computer information systems; his minor is mathematics. He also serves as vice president of the Student Veterans America-Buffalo Chapter.

The event is presented by Continuing Professional Studies, which includes Veterans and Military Services; the Alumni Association; and the Buffalo State chapter of the Student Veterans of America. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held in Chase Hall, room 15 (lower level).

Sergeant Ligas, who has served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, speaks with pride of the work the American military has done for people around the world. “We have done some great things,” he said. In Iraq, Ligas’s unit helped to make a neighborhood secure for the area’s civilians. “When we got there, nobody was in the streets,” he said. “After we were there for four months, kids could play outside again.”

Ligas said that, to him, the American flag is not a piece of cloth; it is a living, breathing thing. “When I salute it,” he said, “I am saluting the people I knew who gave up everything.”

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